Tenuta Regaleali’s Latest Releases
I’ve enjoyed following the releases of Tenuta Regaleali Tasca D’Almerita since I first visited the property with a group of fellow Masters of Wine in 2012. We were very (very) graciously treated to just about every vintage in the cellar, and I worked diligently (and excitedly) to note every wine poured.
Most of all, I was impressed by the nobility and longevity of the wines. In almost every wine there was a hard core, Sicilian determination that aimed to survive against all adverse expectations. Each time I taste a new vintage, I find the same character. If you’re looking for fruit-driven, easy wines, move along. These aren’t those wines. The wines of Tenuta Regaleali are thoughtful, even pensive, wines of integrity that require “listening to” to fully appreciate.
Catarratto Antisa 2017 12%
Pale lemon in color, this stainless steel-fermented with light-lees-contact-only wine is a light and bright with hushed fruit yet verbose earth and mineral tones that is highly food friendly. As this wine initially focuses on savory characters, serve it at cellar temperature - rather than well-chilled - to allow its charm to show. Its nose starts off with cracked white peppercorns and resin. Its smooth palate has a light yet almost puffy feeling as it fills every crevice of the palate. Citrusy tones and integrated acidity offer lift. True to its name “Antisa”, this wine is worth waiting on to open up. (It’s even worth decanting.) Eventually, honeydew melon, yellow plums and quinine flavors surface.
Perricone Guarnaccio 2016 13%
Guarnaccio is the local nickname of Perricone, a grape grown at Regaleali since 1959. Made almost exclusively in Sicily, this grape is known for its tannic grip and bitterness. While this version offers a pleasantly acerbic touch, its tannins are impressively tame. The zippy, reverberating acidity is the backbone of the structure. This magenta-inflected, mid-depth colored red smells and tastes of milk chocolate-covered Marasca cherry tinged with anise. Its finish, however, turns impressively savory with notes of asphalt, incense and hung game. There’s no evident oak here as this was aged exclusively in second and third use barriques. This is a delightfully complex wine that really opens up over a meal and has the structure to hold on in bottle several years.
Rosso del Conte Sicilia Contea di Sclafani 2014 14%
Hailing from a vineyard originally planted in 1959, this wine debuted in 1970 as Riserva del Conte. It became Rosso del Conte with the 1979 vintage. My experiences with this wine have been consistent in that even relatively recent vintages taste mature thanks to their concerted savoriness of dried earth, dried fruits and savory Mediterranean and North African spices. Moreover, this wine shows wholesomeness and harmony early on that is unusual. The wine seems to “settle” quickly with drizzle soft tannins neutralizing the classically, Italian (err…Sicilian) spritely acidity. The finish lingers unabashedly with mulberry, cassis and nougat. This wine tends to have impressive holding power. (P.S. This is a blend of 62% Nero d’Avola and 38% Perricone.)