~ Castellammare del Golfo, Sicilia ~

Although my love of Italy extends across all regions,  my family ancestry is rooted around Napoli and Castellammare del Golfo,  in the north western corner of Sicily.  Castellammare del Golfo is a tiny commune with a population just under 14,000 people and lies midway between the larger and more important cities of Trapani and Palermo.  The town takes its name from the Castle that dominates the far edge of the town and extends seemingly into the sea.  Infamously,  Castellammare is also the birthplace of many famous New York mafia capos.  

Almost due South of Castellammare lies the city of Menfi,  home to the Planeta estate that produces the subject of today’s article.  

~ Chiesa Bella Madre in Castellammare del Golfo, Sicilia ~

Established in 1995,  Planeta has quickly risen to become one of the most important producers on the island.  Today the family’s vineyard holdings are scattered around Sicily and together the six separate estates cover approximately 360 hectares.
This article focuses on a wine produced at the “La Dispensa” estate, the largest of the family’s six properties.  La Dispensa is the heart of the Planeta business and hosts the family residence, the large, modern winery and over 120 hectares of vineyards.  One of these is the single vineyard,  Burdese.  

In local Sicilian dialect,  “Burdese” means Bordolese,  and is a reference to the Bordelais varietals that comprise the wine.   Burdese is a blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Cabernet Franc that is vinified in stainless steel and then aged in 50% new and 50% used barrique for 14 months.  12 months bottle aging is completed before release. 

~ Vineyard holdings at La Dispensa ~

The 2008 Planeta Burdese is classically colored.  Although I didn’t notice any sediment in the bottle,  I decanted it for about 45 minutes nonetheless.  The wine is a deep cherry to garnet red with a bright red rim around the edge of the bowl.  

The aromas are bountiful and speak well to the varietal nature of the wine.  Dark plum, tobacco, mint, cedar and spice notes are fragrant, fresh and enjoyable.  It’s wonderful to swirl the wine, watch the legs, and just smell away.   On the palate, the wine is true to the aromas.  A full to medium bodied core of red plum and cherry fruit is accented by toasted tobacco, dried herbs and dusty stones.  The wine is juicy and fresh and there’s no sense of anything overripe from the Sicilian heat.  Tannins are a bit more than moderate, so I might let this keep in the cellar 2-3 years to flesh them out.  Overall,  a wonderful effort and really an outstanding value given the quality in the bottle.  93 points,  about $32 retail after discount.  

~ Burdese is a single vineyard Bordeaux blend of 70% Cabernet and 30% Cabernet Franc ~


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