Mission Codename Tip toe
Whoa, there goes that Brunello! Fear not, as we bring you a Brunello of the South…
When an up and coming producer gets coined “a comet that burns bright in the skies above” by the Wine Advocate, we pay attention.
This red comes from your first stop crossing to Sicily by ferry, overlooking the “toe” of Italy across the Strait of Messina. The Mediterranean view vineyards of Faro are tiny yet the might here along with their growing reputation compete with the best of Etna, sharing the same prized Nerello varieties.
Alluring medium crimson with fiery highlights within. At first floral, evolving to riper red berries, with a sublime fresh raspberry note mingled with spicy plums. The palate is refreshingly balanced between the seemingly sweet, round impression and the sappy, juicy play of a substantial spicy-savory backdrop. Rich and texturally bold, with a - freshly picked strawberries simmering to become a jam - perfume filling the glass, eventually the room. This delicate yet irresistibly complex and fruity red will enhance many classic dishes of Italian cuisine, especially slow-cooked aromatic stews.
While Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate missed reviewing the 2015, a year before they raved, “Gianfranco Sabbatino has suddenly appeared on the Sicilian wine scene like a comet that burns bright in the skies above. He came out of nowhere, but his strong personality has already left its mark. (Truth be told, Gianfranco has long worked behind the scenes at the Hauner estate on the island of Salina.) I had the opportunity to visit Le Casematte’s winery and vineyards and am absolutely impressed by the work underway in this hidden spot that overlooks the Straights of Messina. Consulting enologist Carlo Ferrini lends a hand, but Gianfranco’s loud and boisterous personality comes through in these bottles… The outstanding Faro by Le Casematte offers a very authentic taste of one of the most promising new wine regions to emerge in Sicily. At the northern tip of the island, the Faro appellation is located at a crossroads of sea currents and rapidly changing weather patterns. You get a sense of that tumultuous energy here…. those distinct aromas of caper and Mediterranean bush that remind you of Sicily.”
We challenge you to find another Italian so delicately balanced, so lively and so scrumptious from the South. Heck, head all the way from the toe to the tip and it still will stand tall up against the very best of the entire boot! Jump on this one, as very little is imported.
92+ Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Only 20 hectares, and yet the Faro DOC is one of Italy’s up and coming denominations. A good reason is wines such as those made by Gianfranco Sabbatino at his Le Casematte estate, founded only in 2008. The wines are cleverly made, smooth and full of early appeal but will age, and are some of Sicily’s most interesting, suave red wines to have come to the attention of wine lovers in some time. Good full, deep red. Aromas of spicy dark plum, licorice and botanical herbs. Supple and fresh, with a savory cast to the flavors of plum, tobacco leaf, and leather. Finishes with supple tannins, a subtle resiny quality and very good length. Drink 2020-2025.”
91 Points – Decanter
“Nerello Cappuccio, Nocera and Nero d’Avola are blended seamlessly with Nerello Mascalese. Notes of orange peel and pomegranate lift blueberry and leather while powdery tannins and succulent acidity frame this linear red. Drinking window 2019-2024.”
What the Winery Says
2015 Faro DOC
- Carlo Ferrini
- 55% Nerello Mascale, 25% Nerello Cappuccio, 10% Nocera, 10% Nero d’Avola
- Faro ‘Superiore’ DOC, Messina, Sicily
- Contrada Moganazzi House, Castiglione di Sicilia, versante nord dell’Etna
- 820-1,210 feet above sea level
- Calcareous clay and sand
- Vine age
- 15-30 years old
- Training / exposure
- Guyot, Northeast
- Dry Extract
- 30 g/l
- Total Acidity
- 6.2 g/l
- Residual Sugar
- <5 g/l
- 12 months
- 100% neutral French oak