For Christmas I was given Wine Grapes by Jancis Robinson et al. This is the newest, most current wine bible and for people like me who like trying something new and different, it’s a handy tome for planning what to drink next, and where one might have to holiday to try some of the world’s more esoteric varieties.
Hot weather here in Adelaide has meant lots of white wine and most of it in the shape of Riesling or Chardonnay. Andy was dispatched to East End Cellars with a shortlist of three wines. He came home with the Artigiano Grillo, an IGT wine (meaning it’s typical of its geographical region) from Sicily, Italy.
Artigiano is the producer and Grillo is the grape. Grillo’s byline in Wine Grapes is that it’s an “increasingly popular high-quality, full-bodied western Sicilian white”. You may see it as a DOC wine (ostensibly a higher quality level), but you also see it (as here) as an IGT. It is described as “full bodied”, “slightly herbaceous or floral”. In Australia, it’s not yet making any real headway – Vinodiversity suggests that just just one producer, ByJingo, is producing it. While it’s not listed on the ByJingo website, ByJingo on twitter reliably informs me that it is available. I hope to be able to try some in the next few weeks.
In the meantime … the Artigiano.
Pale gold in the glass, and a nose of apple, pear, pear drops and preserved lemon. These don’t leap out of the glass but you don’t have to search too hard for them either. On the palate, good acidity and the wine is a lot richer and oilier than the nose might lead you to expect. On the palate you start to get some herbal notes, mixed in with poached pears and apples and a burst of clean citrus/lemon. The finish is slightly bitter, but not in an unattractive way. The wine isn’t particularly long and what length there is dominated by acidity and alcohol.
So this wine is OK. I’m probably not rushing off to buy it again but at the same time I’d drink it and not be unhappy. It’s relatively neutral so it’s unlikely to make enemies.
The real point of interest here is the cost – it was just $16. So for under $20 you get an imported wine, a new grape variety and it’s eminently drinkable.
This wine was purchased from East End Cellars for $16.
Closure: screw cap.