Wine of the Week | Donnafugata Tancredi Sicily | September 7, 2017

2012 Tancredi (Cabernet Sauvignon / Nero d’Avola)
$44.99 (6 btls/cs)

Donnafugata is without a doubt one of the best wineries on the island of Sicily. The estate was founded in 1983 by Gabriella and Giacomo Rallo and today is run by their daughter José and son Antonio. The two strike the perfect balance between tradition and innovation here — they champion indigenous grape varieties and make classically styled wines, but also draw more than 70% of their power from solar energy and live-stream their harvests. All over the world there is an exciting new guard of young winemakers who are shaking things up in the winery and the vineyards, and this is especially true in Sicily right now.

It may not seem so novel today, but Donnafugata began night harvesting in the mid-90s. The symbolic move ignited a shift from quantity to quality in Sicily, encouraging neighbouring winemakers to pursue a fresher style of wine with energy and acid. Tancredi is by no means a light wine. It’s a rich, brooding blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and native Nero d’Avola, but with total class and all of the markers of an age-worthy wine. Nero d’Avola provides depth of fruit and exotic spice while the Cabernet delivers structure and herbal notes. Tannat and other grapes play a small supporting role in this flagship Super Sicilian.

91 Points, Ian d’Agata
Deep, reticent, almost austere aromas and flavors of spicy dark plum, currant leaf, underbrush, coffee and graphite. Multilayered and complex; polished tannins provide backbone to the rich fruit. This still-brooding wine finishes long, displaying outstanding inner-mouth perfume. Strikes me as by far the best, most polished young Tancredi in memory…




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