Perricone, Caruso & Minini
Located on Sicily’s western-most coast near the town of Marsala, Caruso & Minini boasts a history that harks back to the late 1800’s when Antonio Caruso bought the company to grow grapes for the nearby Marsala factories. The company was passed through subsequent generations until Nino Caruso finally decided to begin making and bottling his own wine in the mid 1900’s. In 2004, Stefano Caruso joined forces with Mario Minini of Lombardy to launch the present-day winery, producing wines from indigenous Sicilian varietals such as Catarratto, Nero d’Avola, Frappato, Inzolia, and Nerello Mascalese. Today, Stefano’s daughter Giovanna works closely with her father to head up this historic winery. The winery now boasts 120 hectares at 200-400 meters above sea level, including 5 hectares that are farmed organically and dedicated to Giovanna Caruso’s BIO project featured in today’s tasting. Located 20 kilometers from the sea, the area is cooled by strong winds, yet is far enough from them to avoid any potential damage. The area, which was under water millions of years ago, is characterized by its alluvial soil, rich in water and organic substances. Most notable are the large stones called cuti in local dialect. The softball-sized cuti not only impart a distinct minerality on the grapes grown in them, but also soak up heat from the sun which they transfer to the vines, allowing for an earlier ripening of the grapes thus making harvest possible at a stage which will allow for higher acidity in the wines.
Recently awarded 96 points and “Top Gold” International Organic Wine Award by the PAR Wine Award International for their dedication to high quality grapes grown in a biodynamic and natural manner. In the winemaker’s opinion, this grape does not like aging in wood. In fact, the organic version, which they offer in the Naturalamente Bio line, only refines in steel. Despite this, it is a wine that in bottle evolves in an interesting way over the years. You can safely let it rest in the cellar for 6/7 years and you will notice an evolution that tends to licorice with a balsamic note on the finish.