Review: Wines of Planeta (Focus on Sicily’s Etna), 2015 Releases

002Planeta is one of the icons of Sicilian winemaking, and recently I had the pleasure of meeting Alessio Planeta (pictured below), head winemaker for this operation that sprawls across the island of Sicily. Over lunch at San Francisco’s SPQR, we tasted through a series of Planeta’s Etna-grown wines. (Etna is on the east coast of the island, near the famous volcano… and the rich soils it has created.)

Here are some thoughts on all wines tasted.

NV Planeta Metodo Classico Brut – A 100% carricante sparkler. One of my favorite wines of the day, a fresh citrus-fueled wine, not too fizzy, with crisp apple notes and a clean finish. A- / $40

2014 Planeta Etna Bianco DOC – 100% carricante. Fragrant and lemony, with notes of white flowers. Acidity is high, but the body’s a little thin. Interesting to see the same grape as a still wine vs. the sparkler above. B+ / $24

2014 Planeta Eruzione 1614 Carricante – 90% carricante, 10% riesling. A hint of white burgundy gets this blend going, and what a difference a touch of riesling makes. Quite floral, it builds on a buttery body to a nutty character as it warms up. Quite opulent. A- / $32

2011 Planeta Eruzione 1614 Carricante – 95% carricante, 5% riesling. The same wine with some age on it. More fragrant, despite the lower level of riesling in the blend. Notes of brown butter showcase some nice maturity here, but give it a little air before gulping it down. A- / $32

2014 Planeta Etna Rosso DOC – 100% nerello mascalese. A little thin, a rustic wine with dense berries and tart cherry notes. Some rosemary on the finish. B / $25

2014 Planeta Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese – 100% nerello mascalese. Intense herbs and vegetation here at first, very young, with some ethanol notes. Tight today, but showing promise. B+ / $35

2011 Planeta Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese – 100% nerello mascalese. Beautiful fruit showing on this slightly aged vintage, with maturity proceeding nicely. A little vanilla and a slight balsamic edge get along well; nice balance and fun to drink, but with ample complexity. A / $35

Similar Posts:

1 Response

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.