Review: Whitehouse Sicilian Bitter Wine
Created in the Marsala region of Sicily, bitter wine shares some familial ties with amaro: both feature gentian root and cinchona bark as core ingredients. But that’s really where the parallels end. This blend of marsala wine and botanicals is crafted by winemaker Nicola Centonze, who also creates an amaro (called Reset) that’s worth seeking out if you have a proper specialty shop in your area. Let’s take this bottle for a spin.
Nuances of rich chestnut honey, licorice, and sweet pipe tobacco are big on the nose, which is exactly the sort of invitation I like to accept in proceeding further. The aromas follow through to a warm palate of complex herbs and gentian, bringing the amaro influence to the forefront. The finish settles down nicely with more of that inviting chestnut honey on the nose, lingering but never wearing out its welcome. This could be a great way to start or end a meal, a nod to its versatility. Whitehouse is a challenging experience in the center of a peculiar venn diagram of amaro and wine, but one which is rewarded with patience, consideration, and slowness.
A- / $48
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