SITO DELL’ULMO SINGLE VINEYARD MERLOT, SICILIA MENFI DOC

2015 Italy Sicily
93 Points

Here's a late release Merlot from Sicily that maintains an elegant and poised personality six years after the harvest. The Planeta 2015 Sicilia Menfi Merlot Sito dell'Ulmo offers warm vintage ripeness with cherry liqueur and sun-ripened raspberry. The wine is soft and richly textured with good depth and a long finish that can be counted in minutes. What works best, however, is the elegant approach the wine makes on the senses. It never feels heavy or too extracted... -M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
SITO DELL’ULMO SINGLE VINEYARD MERLOT, SICILIA MENFI DOC

SANTA CECILIA NERO D’AVOLA, NOTO DOC

2017 Italy Sicily
93 Points

This is the top-shelf wine from Planeta. The 2017 Sicilia Noto Santa Cecilia is a pure and exacting expression of Sicily's headline grape, Nero d'Avola... This was a hot vintage in Sicily and in the rest of Italy. But careful winemaking and vineyard management have resulted in balanced fruit that shows crisp acidity and polished tannins. The wine maintains its elegance, but it also shows distinctive notes of its territory, which in Sicily are manifested as black fruit, Mediterranean herb, wild fennel, scorched earth, toasted almond and black olive. This is one of the great bellwether wines of Sicily: Its performance always reflects the vintage, in general. -M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
SANTA CECILIA NERO D’AVOLA, NOTO DOC

PASSITO DI NOTO DOC

2019 Italy Sicily
93 Points

The Planeta 2019 Sicilia Passito di Noto (in a 500-milliliter bottle) is a delicately fragrant dessert wine with orange blossom or zagara, sweet almond paste, honey and night-blooming jasmine.... This opens the wine to more ambitious pairing possibilities such as aged or sharp cheeses or salty cold cuts. The wine sports a generous mid-weight style with nicely balanced acidity. This vintage shows nice fruit concentration too. -M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
PASSITO DI NOTO DOC

NOCERA DOC

2019 Italy Sicily
91 Points

Nocera is one of the lesser-known indigenous grapes found on the northern corner of the island of Sicily, where it has been cultivated since ancient Roman times, but it has been largely supplanted by more common Italian and international varieties better resistant to disease... A great introduction to this storied grape. The Planeta 2019 Sicilia Nocera offers a very silky and smooth personality, showing tight and nicely focused aromas of wild berry, cassis, wild plum and fresh rose. This is a lean to mid-weight expression that would pair with veal involtini.-M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
NOCERA DOC

MAROCCOLI SINGLE VINEYARD SYRAH, SICILIA MENFI DOC

2017 Italy Sicily
94 Points

The Planeta 2017 Menfi Syrah Maroccoli delivers the rich intensity and sweetness of the grape and its sunny Sicilian DNA. This is a plush and loose-knit red wine with plenty of dark fruit, spice, tar and barbecue smoke. The main themes here underline the sweetness and natural succulence of the grape... A great opportunity to serve up some Sicilian veal rolls stuffed with breadcrumbs and perfumed with laurel leaf. If you love Syrah, this is a worthwhile taste of Sicily.-M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
MAROCCOLI SINGLE VINEYARD SYRAH, SICILIA MENFI DOC

MAMERTINO DOC

2018 Italy Sicily
92 Points

This wine shows a bright bouquet that is driven by loads of fresh fruit. The Planeta 2018 Mamertino is redolent of fresh summer cherry, dried raspberry and wild plum... represents a traditional blend of 60% Nero d'Avola and 40% Nocera, whose tannic impact is light. The wine presents an accessible and highly drinkable approach with your favorite southern Italian pasta dish. -M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
MAMERTINO DOC

DORILLI CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA CLASSICO DOCG

2017 Italy Sicily
90 Points

...The Planeta 2017 Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico Dorilli shows a medium dark ruby color and offers straightforward aromas of cherry, wild berry and plum. This was a hot vintage in Sicily (and elsewhere in Italy), and you feel the extra heat and power as a result, although the alcohol content registers at a modest 13%. The wine closes with characteristic aromas of toasted pistachio and black olive... -M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
DORILLI CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA CLASSICO DOCG

COMETA FIANO, SICILIA MENFI DOC

2019 Italy Sicily
94 Points

...The Planeta 2019 Sicilia Menfi Cometa is an icon wine of Sicily and deservedly so. Fiano is simply radiant and lusciously rich in this medium-bodied expression. The 2019 vintage shaped nicely concentrated and flavorful fruit of apricot, honey and baked pear. Only 10% of the wine sees oak, but that's more than enough to render the extra depth and soft textural richness that puts this wine a cut above the other more one-dimensional interpretations of this indigenous Italian grape. -M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
COMETA FIANO, SICILIA MENFI DOC

CHARDONNAY SICILIA MENFI DOC

2019 Italy Sicily
95 Points

The Planeta 2019 Sicilia Menfi Chardonnay is a true beauty... The wine boasts a slightly old-school personality for oak-aged Chardonnay, but it is remarkably vibrant and quick-footed nonetheless. Instead of overt toast or butter, this wine shows all-Sicilian notes of toasted almond and candied fruit. It offers a medium gold color and a lifted, mid-weight texture. Fresh acidy adds sharpness and focus. The Planeta family is doing wonders with Chardonnay (you might also try the fabulous Didacus), and you can't beat this price point. -M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
CHARDONNAY SICILIA MENFI DOC

CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA DOCG

2019 Italy Sicily
90 Points

A blend of 60% Nero d'Avola and 40% Frappato, the Planeta 2019 Cerasuolo di Vittoria is a mid-weight red with a bright and punchy bouquet. The nose is redolent of wild cherry and plum, and there is a hint of red rose. A lean and silky finish culminates with a pretty point of fresh acidity. There are light notes of toasted herb and licorice as well... This would be nice with a typical Sicilian “melanzane mbuttunate,” or eggplant stuffed with caciocavallo cheese. -M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
CERASUOLO DI VITTORIA DOCG

BURDESE, SICILIA MENFI DOC

2016 Italy Sicily
93 Points

With ample intensity and definition, this wine shows the power of two Bordeaux grapes, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc, with the softness and sunny sweetness you might expect of a warm wine territory such as Sicily. The Planeta 2016 Sicilia Menfi Burdese shows a dark garnet appearance and medium rich concentration. Dried spice, scorched earth and black fruit appear on the bouquet. There is a dry, almost dusty quality to the tannins that are present but without any noticeable astringency.... would match up nicely with a classic Sicilian skillet of fennel sausage, orange slices and bread.-M.L.

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Wine Advocate NOVEMBER 2021
BURDESE, SICILIA MENFI DOC

CARO

2018 Argentina Mendoza
95 Points

The 2018 Caro is a blend of 76% Malbec with 36% Cabernet Sauvignon from Paraje Altamira, Uco Valley, aged for 18 months in French barrels, 80% of them new. Garnet red in the glass...Fresh plum and blackcurrant, country herbs, hints of violet, oak and spice feature alongside a touch of undergrowth. But the key is what happens in the mouth. It’s sheer velvet with broad, gently reactive tannins that deliver a chalky, juicy texture while the precise, detailed flavors grow more prominent with each sip. This is a wine where one can switch off their mind and simply enjoy, a rare and attractive quality. – J.H.

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Vinous NOVEMBER 2021
CARO

ARUMA MALBEC

2020 Argentina Mendoza
90 Points

The 2020 Malbec Aruma comes from different vineyards in the Uco Valley, Mendoza and spent a year in fine lees. This vintage delivers remarkably intense, fruity notes of candied plum, violets and a pure, alluring bed of herbs... The juice of the region combines with the 2020 climate to energize a palate of potent but balanced alcohol. This is a big but nuanced red. – J.H.

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Vinous NOVEMBER 2021
ARUMA MALBEC

AMANCAYA RESERVE RED BLEND

2018 Argentina Mendoza
92 Points

The 2018 Amancaya is a blend of 70% Malbec with 30% Cabernet Sauvignon from Altamira and Agrelo, Mendoza, 50% aged in used French barrels for 12 months. A dark, garnet red in color. The aromas range from plum to blackcurrant jam with hints of country herb and subtle aging notes. A French-style wine, the palate is on the skinny side with fine, slightly reductive tannins anchored in an acidity that makes for a juicy balance. This is an unusual combination for Argentina. –  J. H

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Vinous NOVEMBER 2021
AMANCAYA RESERVE RED BLEND