How much of an impact is Sicily making on the wine world? Terlato Wines, which prides itself on its “luxury wines,” is the new importer for one of my favorite cheap Sicilian brands, Cusumano. That Terlato, whose brands include wines that cost as much as $100, sees a future in Sicily speaks to the quality and value available on the island. What Terlato will do to the price of Cusumano, sadly, is another story.
Let’s hope that Terlato, or another “luxury” importer, doesn’t find out about Planeta, whose wines are equally as well done as Cusumano. The La Segreta ($8, purchased, 13%) is a red blend – which includes the very un-Sicilian cabernet franc -- that again shows how far Sicily has come from the old days.
Think of it as a Super Sicilian, the island’s version of the Winestream Media-approved Super Tuscan blend. The Segreta combines merlot, syrah, and the cabernet franc with Sicily’s signature nero d'avola, so it isn't as dark and earthy as other Sicilian reds, but fruitier and richer. Who thought those adjectives would ever be used in a review of Sicilian wine?
But there isn't too much cherry fruit, and there is still zingy Italian-style acid to provide balance. Even more surprising is that the wine needs food, which isn’t supposed to happen with something that costs $8. Highly recommended, and a candidate for the 2014 $10 Wine Hall of Fame.