'Menfi' Chardonnay 2019 - Planeta

$65.00
Sale price

Regular price $65.00

WINEMAKING

The grapes are de-stemmed and crushed; the juice is clarified through cold settling overnight and then inoculated with selected yeast.

AGEING

Fermented and aged in 225-liter French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% one-year-old. The wine is aged for ten months in barrel before bottling and release.

TASTING NOTES

Starting from the richness of its deep clear golden but transparent color one imagines the pleasing contrast of creaminess and crispness in the taste. It is indeed a soft white wine underlaid by a refreshing acid vein which accompanies each mouthful. A slight mineral suggestion combines harmoniously with the flavour of ripe yellow peaches, acacia honey and marzipan and with some peaty, cereal and toasted aromas which precede the powerful balanced finish. For a change, try it with some just seared foie gras or with roast veal and mushroom sauce.

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Planeta

Planeta encompasses six distinct wine estates across Sicily, each one inspired and constructed in harmony with its surroundings and dedicated to its terroir. Planeta’s journey begins at Sambuca di Sicilia, on the estate owned by the family since the 1600s. Here on Italy’s most enchanting island, three enthusiastic young Sicilians, Alessio, Francesca and Santi Planeta, under the guidance of Diego Planeta, began their winemaking venture in the mid-1980s. Subsequent years were spent matching the extraordinarily diverse Sicilian soils with both indigenous and international varieties. Years of careful research paid off when the Planeta wines were met with immediate critical acclaim upon introduction in the U.S. in the late 1990s.

All of the company’s activities have a single theme; environmental sustainability. Planeta engages in the use of solar panels and biomass production, using pruning residues to produce energy, reusing and recycling of all materials used in the production cycle, and the exclusive use of recycled paper for packing and printed materials. Because the land is a collective benefit, Planeta considers it is a duty to make every effort in preserving it.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Chardonnay

 

--------THE REGION--------

Sicily

Italy's largest contiguous grape-growing region lies in the far west of Sicily, straddling the low but rugged Gibellina Mountains in what is still sometimes called the "Mazara Valley." It is a vast viticultural area larger than those of Piedmont, Veneto or Tuscany, and the hearty wines produced here under the Sicilian sun are still used to "fortify" the weaker potions created in northern Italy. That, and frequent use in making strong Marsala wine, was their traditional destiny for the last two centuries. More recently, Sicily's wine renaissance has changed both the substance and image of Sicilian wines.

The heart of the region will be found between Salemi and Marsala. More broadly, the viticultural region extends from the suburbs of Marsala south-eastward toward Menfi, framed by the ancient Greek sites of Segesta and Selinunte, including localities such as Alcamo in the northwest, Trapani in the northwest, and Castelvetrano in the south. The larger cities are not without their charm, but it's the smaller towns and hamlets, with the occasional castle or farmhouse, that capture the imagination. And, of course, vineyards as far as the eye can see. The rolling hills planted with vines are themselves the main attraction; the mountains are merely a backdrop. It's a good place to breathe the tranquility of the real, rural Sicily of centuries past.

Though the Greeks are usually credited with the introduction of viticulture in Sicily around 600 BC (bringing several grape varieties with them during their extensive colonization), the Phoenicians, too, probably raised grapes in this part of Sicily, especially near flat coastal areas. There is also evidence that the Elymians (or Elimi or Elami), western Sicily's native people, raised indigenous grapes and made a form of wine. There is another large wine region in "Hellenic" eastern Sicily, developed around Mount Etna and extending southward to Catania and Siracusa (Syracuse). Until a few years ago, the wineries of western Sicily were perhaps too closely linked to the Marsala wine industry, but many now cultivate grape varieties (not traditionally associated with Marsala) on younger vines introduced recently. This has changed the face of western Sicily as newer vines have been planted to replace older ones.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir. 

WINEMAKING

The grapes are de-stemmed and crushed; the juice is clarified through cold settling overnight and then inoculated with selected yeast.

AGEING

Fermented and aged in 225-liter French oak barrels, 50% new and 50% one-year-old. The wine is aged for ten months in barrel before bottling and release.

TASTING NOTES

Starting from the richness of its deep clear golden but transparent color one imagines the pleasing contrast of creaminess and crispness in the taste. It is indeed a soft white wine underlaid by a refreshing acid vein which accompanies each mouthful. A slight mineral suggestion combines harmoniously with the flavour of ripe yellow peaches, acacia honey and marzipan and with some peaty, cereal and toasted aromas which precede the powerful balanced finish. For a change, try it with some just seared foie gras or with roast veal and mushroom sauce.

--------THE PRODUCER--------

Planeta

Planeta encompasses six distinct wine estates across Sicily, each one inspired and constructed in harmony with its surroundings and dedicated to its terroir. Planeta’s journey begins at Sambuca di Sicilia, on the estate owned by the family since the 1600s. Here on Italy’s most enchanting island, three enthusiastic young Sicilians, Alessio, Francesca and Santi Planeta, under the guidance of Diego Planeta, began their winemaking venture in the mid-1980s. Subsequent years were spent matching the extraordinarily diverse Sicilian soils with both indigenous and international varieties. Years of careful research paid off when the Planeta wines were met with immediate critical acclaim upon introduction in the U.S. in the late 1990s.

All of the company’s activities have a single theme; environmental sustainability. Planeta engages in the use of solar panels and biomass production, using pruning residues to produce energy, reusing and recycling of all materials used in the production cycle, and the exclusive use of recycled paper for packing and printed materials. Because the land is a collective benefit, Planeta considers it is a duty to make every effort in preserving it.

 

--------THE GRAPE--------

Chardonnay

 

--------THE REGION--------

Sicily

Italy's largest contiguous grape-growing region lies in the far west of Sicily, straddling the low but rugged Gibellina Mountains in what is still sometimes called the "Mazara Valley." It is a vast viticultural area larger than those of Piedmont, Veneto or Tuscany, and the hearty wines produced here under the Sicilian sun are still used to "fortify" the weaker potions created in northern Italy. That, and frequent use in making strong Marsala wine, was their traditional destiny for the last two centuries. More recently, Sicily's wine renaissance has changed both the substance and image of Sicilian wines.

The heart of the region will be found between Salemi and Marsala. More broadly, the viticultural region extends from the suburbs of Marsala south-eastward toward Menfi, framed by the ancient Greek sites of Segesta and Selinunte, including localities such as Alcamo in the northwest, Trapani in the northwest, and Castelvetrano in the south. The larger cities are not without their charm, but it's the smaller towns and hamlets, with the occasional castle or farmhouse, that capture the imagination. And, of course, vineyards as far as the eye can see. The rolling hills planted with vines are themselves the main attraction; the mountains are merely a backdrop. It's a good place to breathe the tranquility of the real, rural Sicily of centuries past.

Though the Greeks are usually credited with the introduction of viticulture in Sicily around 600 BC (bringing several grape varieties with them during their extensive colonization), the Phoenicians, too, probably raised grapes in this part of Sicily, especially near flat coastal areas. There is also evidence that the Elymians (or Elimi or Elami), western Sicily's native people, raised indigenous grapes and made a form of wine. There is another large wine region in "Hellenic" eastern Sicily, developed around Mount Etna and extending southward to Catania and Siracusa (Syracuse). Until a few years ago, the wineries of western Sicily were perhaps too closely linked to the Marsala wine industry, but many now cultivate grape varieties (not traditionally associated with Marsala) on younger vines introduced recently. This has changed the face of western Sicily as newer vines have been planted to replace older ones.

The best place to start when you are pairing food and wine is to think about the structural elements of both the food and wines. These elements are: sweetness, acidity, bitterness, umami, chilli heat and fat.

We have listed these elements in foods and how you can add wines with similar or contrasting elements to help create harmony in your matches.

Sweetness 

Sweet foods can overpower dry wines, white or red, making them appear acidic, neutral or bitter. In order to reduce this effect you should pair sweet foods with sweet wines. 

Acidity

Acidic foods, like fresh citrus, tomatoes or salads laden with vinaigrettes, will overpower the acidity in a wine making them appear flabby or less acidic than they were. In order to reduce this effect you should pair acidic foods with wines that have a higher acidity such as Champagne, Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc.

Acidity is a key element in creating balance in a dish or a food-and-wine match. If the foods are going to reduce the acidity in the wines then you need to add your own bit of acidity by bringing a more acidic wine to the table. It is the same principle behind adding lemon juice to seafood dishes, as seafood tends to have quite low natural acidity.

Bitterness

If a food is high in bitterness then it will make the wine appear bitter, or it will increase the perception of bitterness (tannins) in the wine. In order to reduce this effect you should pair bitter foods with wines that are not lean with high acid.  Rather choose wines with some sweetness, fruit or viscosity.

Umami (Savoury)

Foods that are highly savoury, like mushrooms, will increase the bitterness or acidic perception we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair umami rich foods with wines that are fruity and do not have medium-high tannins. 

Often foods that are more savoury are best matched with white wines like Chardonnay or Soave as these do not big tannins but have lots of fruity flavours.

Chilli Heat

Chilli heat is similar to umami-rich foods.  They will increase the bitterness or acidic perception as well as the alcoholic burn we have in wines. In order to reduce this effect you should pair chilli heat rich foods with wines that are fruity and/or have higher sweetness levels.

Wines that are off-dry like many Gewürztraminers or Rieslings could work best with chilli foods like a curry as they will be both a bit sweet but also very fruity. If you aren't a white wine drinker then you could consider red wines that have lower tannins such as a Pinot Noir or Gamay Noir. 

Fatty

Foods that are high in fat will make the wines feel flabby and less fruity. In order to reduce this effect you should pair fatty foods with wines that have high acidity. This is similar to the rule of adding in acidity (in the form of citrus) to seafood to help to cut down the perception of fattiness.  

These suggestions (there are no rules that apply to everyone) will help you to think about how to create pairings. It often isn't helpful to think about 'red wine and red meat' or 'white wine and fish' because it is actually the structural elements of the wine and food that need to be balanced. It is the acidity in white wines that works well by cutting through the fattiness of a piece of fish but you could get that acidity in a Pinot Noir.