A Wine Lover’s Near Weekly Review Of $15 Wine – A Sicilian White Insolia

Now that I’m in the throes of a relatively mild Eastern Canadian winter I can’t help but think about Italy, in particular Italian wine. Please don’t think that Italian wine must be red. I am a real fan of some Italian whites. Today’s offering is made from the Sicilian white Insolia grape, also found in Tuscany where it carries the name Ansonica. The producer’s web site is Italian only but Google’s translation service seems to provide good information. Fuedo Principi di Butera is in the province of Caltanissetta owning 320 hectares (800 acres) of land of which 180 hectares (450 acres) are in vineyards. They do 3 whites and 5 reds based on both international and Sicilian grapes and grow 3000 olive trees. Stop by for a tour during the week. The city of Butera is located on Sicily’s western coast. You need not go far to see historic churches, castles, and the like. Our companion wine is a central Italy white blend that carries a higher appellation at about two-thirds the price.

OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.

Wine Reviewed
Feudo Principi di Butera Insolia IGT 2009 13.2 % alcohol about $14.

We can start by quoting the marketing materials. “Tasting Note: Grown predominantly in Sicily, and originally valued as an aromatic ingredient in top-quality versions of the fortified wine Marsala, the Insolia grape is now produced as a varietal in its own right. This example offers notes of pear, melon, and lees on the nose. The palate is medium bodied, with a nice acidity and notes of apricot, ripe pear and melon. There is a nice length to the creamy and fruity finish. Match it to baked cod with a lemon-butter sauce. (VINTAGES panel, Nov. 2010).” And now for my review.

At the first sips this wine was quite lovely and elegant. It was mouth filling. Slightly sweet. Japanese rice and peanut crackers brought out the citrus, which was surrounded by delicate acidity. The initial meal centered on Kube, ground beef in ground bulgar and semolina jackets that swam in a Swiss Chard sauce. The libation’s response was multilayered and apricots rose to the fore. Its acidity hit the spot, and this wine was quite long. Dousing Louisiana hot sauce on the Kube brought out lots of lemon; yet the Insolia was delicate. A few squares of bittersweet Swiss chocolate weakened but did not kill this wine.

My next meal consisted of boxed Baked Ziti Siciliano embellished with lots of grated Parmesan cheese. Our Sicilian friend was light but it was long, and evolved in my mouth. It offered refreshing acidity, while being metallic and citrusy. Chocolate nut macaroons (coconut cookies) rendered the liquid delicate with balanced acidity. It was so long.

The final meal centered on an omelet that I perked up with tarragon, cumin, and garlic powder. The libation was long and elegant with lots of citrus and a touch of pleasant sweetness. This wine remained long when paired with zesty guacamole. Fresh blueberries rendered it syrupy and homemade sesame seed cookies with carob chips made this liquid smoky.

Final verdict. Do you have to guess? For the first time in my life I’ll be looking for an Ansonica.

Levi Reiss authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but prefers drinking fine wine. He teaches computer classes at an Ontario French-language community college. His global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com features a weekly review of $10 wines. Visit his wine, nutrition, and health website www.wineinyourdiet.com .

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