Santa Cecilia Nero d’Avola Noto DOC

Santa Cecilia Nero d’Avola Noto DOC

  • Sicilia Noto DOC, 
  • Sicily, 
  • italy

Latest Awards

  • 94 points Wine Enthusiast , April 2024
  • 92 points Wine Spectator , February 2024

Planeta’s journey began at Sambuca di Sicilia, on the estate owned by the family since the 1600s. Here, three enthusiastic young Sicilians, Alessio, Francesca and Santi Planeta, under the guidance of Diego Planeta, began their winemaking venture in the mid-1980s. Subsequent years were spent matching the extraordinarily diverse Sicilian soils with both indigenous and international varieties. Planeta today encompasses six distinct wine estates in five regions across Sicily; Ulmo at Sambuca di Sicilia, Dispensa at Menfi, Dorilli at Vittoria, Buonivini at Noto, Sciara Nuova on Etna at Castiglione di Sicilia, and the newest addition, La Baronia at Capo Milazzo. Each vineyard site is carefully cultivated with grapes that best compliment the local terroir.


The Nero d'Avola vines grow at Buonivini, where white limestone soil with an abundance of small stones, breezes arising from the meeting of two seas, creates the best conditions to make the vines grow successfully. Santa Cecilia is an expression of elegance, power, balance and eminence of the unique aromas of Sicily. The 2019 vintage saw an extraordinarily wet autumn in 2018, which replenished the water reserves of the ground and in some way cooled the soil. The winter was fairly mild, while the spring was prolonged with fairly low temperatures, particularly during May. This combination – cold soil, a cold spring following a mild winter – contributed to an exceptionally late start to the harvest in almost the whole of Sicily. August had perfect weather, but with moments of humidity. Early September rains perfectly completed the final ripening stages of the grapes, then continued without surprises. The harvest at Noto began later than usual and was also slightly lower. The Nero d’Avola ripened very slowly. Yield was decidedly low but the results are very fresh, spicy wines.

Winemaking & Aging

The harvest took place September 24th–25th. Destalking was followed by 21 days remaining on the skins; after racking, malolactic fermentation in stainless steel tanks.

Tasting Notes

Opens with notes of Mediterranean macchia and aromas of seaweed piled on Sicilian beaches. The red fruit is sour cherry and very ripe blackberry; the citrus fruit is bergamot and bitter orange. The spices are carob flour and incense. On the palate the ripe fruit combines well with the wood tannin in accompanying a very densely textured tannin but open and measured to the structure of this wine with its complex and unmistakeable personality.


The nose starts bubbly and sweet, with aromas of black plums, cherry and vanilla, then turns savory but still crackly, with notes of pencil shavings, pepper, graphite and leather. The palate doubles back toward juicy fruit with figs and more plums, then shifts again toward that sanguine earthiness, but textured tannins and almost silky acid unifies the whole. Taub Family Selections. —D.C.

Wine Enthusiast - April 2024


One of the icon wines of Sicily, the Planeta 2020 Sicilia Noto Santa Cecilia is all Nero d'Avola dressed up with elegance and precision. The wine is softly textured and layered with dark fruit, black cherry, spice and sweet tobacco. Santa Cecilia embraces a classic approach with good balance between generous fruit and carefully managed oak. – M.L.

Wine Advocate - June 2023


Blackberry, floral and dark earth aromas with hints of fresh black mushroom. Medium to full body with round and creamy tannins and a delicious undertone. Just a hint of vanilla bean underneath the fruit. Nero d’avola. Drink or hold. -J.S.

James Suckling - September 2023


Bright and fragrant, with a lush creaminess that carries flavors of strawberry preserves, dried cherry, tar, tea rose and singed orange peel. Well-spiced and minerally, with lightly chalky tannins providing fine definition. Nero d'Avola. Drink now through 2030. – A.N.

Wine Spectator - February 2024


The 2020 Santa Cecilia, a varietal Nero d'Avola, lifts from the glass with a dark and brooding mix of crushed plums, cloves, stone dust and a lifting hint of camphor. This is round and supple with juicy acidity that maintains lovely energy, and bright red and blue fruits cascade across the palate. The 2020 finishes with a bitter tinge of savory spice and hints of sour citrus while leaving a coating of fine tannins to resonate. The 2020 is quite pretty and balanced for mid-term cellaring. -E.G.

Vinous - June 2023


Vinified in stainless steel, with a long maceration of around 35 days, Santa Cecilia then matures in French oak barrels of various ages, with just 10% new wood. It's a well made Nero d'Avola with a purity and freshness to its ripe red and black berry and cherry character. Intense and spicy, with zingy acidity, it features sapid cherry and black fruits along with notes of chocolate and balsam and mouthcoating tannins. Full and rich in fruit but quite vertical in style, it's a lively and ageable example of what can be achieved with this signature Sicilian grape. – J.B.

Decanter - May 2023


Sicilia Noto DOC

grape varieties

100% Nero d'Avola



technical details
  • ABV: 14.25%
  • TA: 5.36 g/l
  • Ph: 3.52
  • Closure: Cork
  • Vegan

Patricia Toth


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Santa Cecilia Nero d’Avola Noto DOC Santa Cecilia Nero d’Avola Noto DOC

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