Friday, May 25, 2018

Malvasia on the Island of Sicilia with Tasca d'Almerita

A few weeks ago I was invited to a tasting of the Dalla Terra portfolio where 9 families of Italian wine producers were visiting Boston.  I love opportunities like these, especially when they all Italian.  It was the perfect opportunity to take the day off of work and meet these folks.  I made it through 7 of the 9 so I have plenty of stories and wines to share with you in upcoming weeks.  Life is a little crazy right now with getting our house ready for sale while trying to find one never mind balancing two little ones under 2, but that's why we have wine right?!
Giuseppe Tasca of Tasca d'Almerita
Giuseppe Tasca

The wines I'm sharing with you today are made from the malvasia grape from Tasca d'Almerita on the island of Sicily.  This was my first stop of the day and I was greeted by co-owner of the winery and VP, Giuseppe Tasca.  Giuseppe, along with his brother Alberto and father Count Lucia Tasca, manage the operations of the winery today.  Giuseppe greeted me with such enthusiasm and was so proud to tell me the history of his family and the estates that they own.  He walked me through all his pictures and explained the differences between the 5 farms, known as tenuta, and how the expressions of the grape varieties differ from the variety of landscapes that they're grown on.  Those 5 estates include
  • Tenuta Capofaro (Salina)
  • Tenuta Tascante (Mt. Etna)
  • Tenuta Whitaker (Mozia)
  • Tenuta Regaleali (DOC Sclafani county)
  • Sallier de la Tour (Palermo province)
Tenuta Capofaro of Tasca d'Almerita
Tenuta Capofaro
The malvasia wines I'm sharing come from the Tenuta Capofaro estate.  This particular estate is located on the Aeolian island Salina, a UNESCO World Heritage site, off the northeastern coast of Sicily.  At the estate they only grow malvasia, known there as malvasia della lipari, on their vineyards that consist of 6 hectares situated on ancient lava rock.  This area is known for malvasia typically produced as a sweet wine.  Tenuta Capofaro wanted to present it also in a different light and show it as a dry style wine with freshness and elegance, hence their Didyme wine I tasted below.
Malvasia della Lipari Tenuta Capofaro
Giuseppe was showing me pictures of the resort that guests can stay at on their estate. Looked like heaven to me!  They purchased this estate back in 2002 and at the time majority of the hectares were already planted with malvasia, but they restructured some of the vineyard and kept the best quality vines.  
Tenuta Capofaro Sicily
The 2 wines I tasted were the 2016 Tenuta Capofaro Malvasia Passito called "CapoFaro" and the 2017 Tenuta Capofaro Malvasia Didyme.  I hope you have an opportunity to taste these wines and to experience malvasia in its different styles.

2016 Tenuta Capofaro Malvasia Passito "CapoFaro" Salina IGT made of 100% malvasia.  These malvasia grapes are dehydrated indoors, concentrating the sugars in the grapes.  They're fermented in stainless steel and aged for 6 months.  The wine showed a beautiful balance of sweetness and acidity without the heavy viscosity of other dessert wines.  Beautiful notes of honey and peaches.  SRP $38 (wine-searcher)

2017 Tenuta Capofaro Malvasia Didime Salina IGT made also with 100% malvasia.  This wine is named after the old name of the island "Didyme".  A light-bodied dry wine that is crisp, elegant, showing nice minerality and acidity combined with some citrus, flowers and herb notes.  SRP $16 (wine-searcher)
Tasca d'Amerita Malvasia Bianca Didyme
Happy Memorial weekend to everyone!

*Pictures and information sourced from Jarvis Communications and Tasca d'Almerita.


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