These two wines are just plain fun. 2014 Squadra Bianco and Rosso. The Bianco, which is a blend of 70% Catarratto and 30% Grillo, sets one up for a head scratcher..First of all, what are those grapes? Did you know the Italian countryside has hundreds upon hundreds of grape varietals they use to make wine? Not many people have heard of these specific grapes, right? These grapes are indigenous to Sicily, the small volcanic island off the toe of the boot. Sicily is famous for a couple of things…Mount Etna(volcano) and the Mafioso.. Well, this refreshing white is going to do it’s part to gain some of the notoriety that Sicily is known for. The Catarratto gives the wine body and mouth feel, weighty almost like a Chardonnay for comparison, but has bright lemony flavors. The Grillo imparts white flowers and some bright acidity to the mix, just a hint enough to make the inside of your cheeks tingle. It also has just a hint of salinity, that only island life can add. Great balance. This wine is unoaked, so the fresh lively flavors shine through without any winemaker over-manipulation. This is what I would call a Session Wine..sitting on the porch on a warm summer evening.. cold Squadra Bianco in a glass, fresh seafood on the grill, crisp salad with a lemony thyme vinaigrette and a few friends. Summer life..
The Rosso..they used more conventional, or International varietals for this one, 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah and 10% Merlot. What I like about this one is the upfront fruit and herbaceous qualities it’s throwing. The Cab is sending vibes of dark cherry and cassis while the Syrah provides the herbaceous, anise hints and the Merlot softens with its plummy soft fruits. Not a big tannin bomb, and the finish has a slight salinity that really opens the palate for the full flavors of this lighter than you think red. The nose on this really isn’t something to write home about, but the brightness and body of this is a jewel. Pair this with some grilled pork tenderloin, grilled fresh garden veggies and you’re ready for a great pairing. For wines like this, keep the meal simple..no need to overcomplicate matters…As with the Bianco, this wine sees no oak, only stainless and sealed concrete fermentations. I think this really lets the typicity of the grapes show. Overall these wines are something all could enjoy.