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Santa Anastasia Passomaggio 2010

Other Red Blends from Sicily, Italy
  • WS90
13.5% ABV
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  • W&S90
  • WE90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

70% Nero d'Avola and 30% Merlot, from elevated vineyards towering over the sea; color, body, depth and aromas in abundance, supple richness and balance, fine-tuned by a six to nine months in 2nd year Allier barriques and six to seven months bottle age. Deep ruby color; intense nose of great finesse and fragrance.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 90
Wine Spectator
Pure and silky, offering a polished core of dark raspberry, wild cherry and spice that leads to a fine finish of tangy olive and mineral. Nero d'Avola and Merlot. Drink now through 2016. 8,333 cases made.
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Santa Anastasia

Santa Anastasia

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Santa Anastasia, Sicily, Italy
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Along Sicily’s northern coastline, between the sea and the Apennine range of Madonie, the medieval abbey or "abbazia" of Santa Anastasia is steeped in a natural landscape so extraordinary that the present owner, entrepreneur Francesco Lena, decided to transform these 988 acres of farmland, olive groves, vineyards and medieval buildings into a model, ultramodern winery and an exclusive relais, where visitors would be able to enjoy the unique, sultry beauty of Sicily at its finest.

In the quarter of a century that has elapsed since Lena purchased the vast property (1980), an extraordinary team of agronomists and wine technicians, orchestrated by Lena himself with winemaker Riccardo Cotarella, has succeeded in crafting some of the new icons of Sicilian oenology from elevated, Guyot-trained vines and superb terroir.

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A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.

Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on the sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.

Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieites or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected wines of the island.

Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry whites. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.

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Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

SOU187836_2010 Item# 130151