|Christopher Keiller Fine Wine||
Palari Faro 2005
Sicily's most elegant wines come from this small producer located in the hills around Messina. On the hills overlooking the Straights of Messina, the great DOC wine, “Il Faro” has been produced since the beginning of antiquity as they love to say. Archaeological discoveries prove that winemaking in the Messina area was flourishing as far back as the 14th century B.C. This led to a prosperous economy that continued to thrive for centuries. Unfortunately these good times couldn't roll forever. At the beginning of last century, the vines were nearly devastated by the phylloxera and production fell off dramatically during the following years. Wine production continued its gradual decline and reached its lowest point in history in 1985 with the DOC wine-bearing area at serious risk of extinction. In the splendid Villa Geraci seat of the new Palari Winery, proprietor Salvatore Geraci has devoted himself to the production of his ancient and noble wine with the objective of reviving (assisted by the help of modern technology) that quality that has made “Il Faro” famous throughout the world. The vineyard lies in the “Palari” wine district of S. Stefano, Messina, and is planted with native grapevines of names as old as the fascination they evoke: Nerello, Nocera, Cappuccino, Tignolino, Cor'e Palumba, Acitana, Galatena and others.... All of which are embraced by the regulations for the production of the Faro DOC. The terrain is blessed with a unique microclimate - due to its dramatic rise of altitude of 420 metres above sea level within just five kilometres. It is set up with “alberello” head-pruned trellis and has a medium slope of 78 degrees requiring the grapes to be gathered and placed into 20 kg baskets by hand. Because of this labour-intensive requirement and the rigid selection which the grapes must undergo, the total yield of grapes for each plant is only 1 kg. The soft-pressing of the grapes, the temperature controlled fermentation, the aging in French oak barrels, and the refinement in air-conditioned rooms - all carefully monitored under the watchful eye of the winemaker Donato Lanati - make possible the creation of this important wine of such noble and old tradition. The winemaking philosophy under Salvatore Geraci is simple: make two wines with the same indigenous grapes but with different selections. His Rosso del Soprano, a blend based on a wine known in antiquity as Mamertino, comes from the native nerello mascalese, nerello cappuccio, and nocera grapes. The primary wine to be featured from Palari is Faro. Here the wine includes a finer selection of the same grapes to make this a Tre Bicchieri winner. Faro (which means lighthouse) is a little DOC, almost the smallest in Italy. With just above 6 hectares (15 acres) in the DOC area, the production is clearly tiny. Sicily's increasing focus on modern production techniques and international varieties has had some great success, as at the Planeta estate; but Palari provides a refreshing respite from this trend with their great indigenous wines. Faro has a ruby colour with a hint of purple. The nose is beautifully knit, black cherry to the fore and lightly smoky nuances shimmering in the background. It is remarkably elegant with a complete lack of over-ripeness that characterises many southern Italian reds.
Editorial Reviews for Palari Faro
Fantastic array of intriguing aromatics, smoky, irony, mineral, strawberry jam, pressed flowers, dried citrus peel, slate and a touch of dried manure round s out the nose. Bright, lean and focused in the mouth with not one once of unneeded fat. The red currant/wild cherry fruits are rich and intense but the wine is elegant and lithe with impressive length and superb inner mouth perfume. This is certainly young but it's so vibrant it is absolutely a joy to drink today though it will improve for a decade or more. 2009-2020 94pts.
A unique example of a Mt. Etna red that has softer acidity and minerality than most from the region. 2008 Gambero Rosso’s Red Wine of the Year. The guide says that some consider it the best in Italy for it’s remarkable resemblance to Pinot Noir of Burgundy.
External Reviews for Palari Faro
A blend of fascinating and largely unheard of indigenous red grapes: mostly Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, with small amounts of Nocera, Calabrese, Acitana, and more. Simply a beautiful red wine, with flavors of red berries, fresh tobacco, spices, and minerals. Changes by the minute.
Food Pairings for Palari Faro
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