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Eruzione 1614 Carricante, Planeta 2018

White Wine from Italy - S Italy and Islands
Bright, elegant and full of tension and verve, this Italian white comes from carricante vines planted on volcanic, sandy soils from lava flow deposits made back in 1614. As warmth and air get into the glass, its green-apple, flint and preserved lemon flavours really stand out.
Price: £18.50 Bottle
Price: £111.00 CASE6
In Stock
Code: IT32981

Wine characteristics

  • White Wine
  • 1 - Bone dry
  • Carricante
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2025
  • 12.5% Alcohol
  • no oak influence
  • Cork, diam

Southern Italy

In ancient times this was the main source of high-quality wines from the peninsula of Italy The Greeks had introduced viniculture through their colonies there and named the bottom half of the peninsula ‘Oenotrai’ or land of wine, and the Romans expanded on the tradition, particularly in the Campania where many wealthy citizens owned vast estates and some of the most famous wines of the empire were made, such as Falernum. Some grape names appear to reflect the Greco-Roman influence (greco, aglianico), though this may be more about folk-memory than fact as there is no ampelographical evidence linking these varieties to any Greek ancient forbears.

Campania itself is the area around Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Naturally there are volcanic soils in the vicinity and as the vineyards climb the Apennines there is altitude to cool the grapes as they ripen. As such there is a balancing freshness to the fruity wines. Greco di Tufo, fiano (especially from Avellino) and falanghina are among the ...
In ancient times this was the main source of high-quality wines from the peninsula of Italy The Greeks had introduced viniculture through their colonies there and named the bottom half of the peninsula ‘Oenotrai’ or land of wine, and the Romans expanded on the tradition, particularly in the Campania where many wealthy citizens owned vast estates and some of the most famous wines of the empire were made, such as Falernum. Some grape names appear to reflect the Greco-Roman influence (greco, aglianico), though this may be more about folk-memory than fact as there is no ampelographical evidence linking these varieties to any Greek ancient forbears.

Campania itself is the area around Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Naturally there are volcanic soils in the vicinity and as the vineyards climb the Apennines there is altitude to cool the grapes as they ripen. As such there is a balancing freshness to the fruity wines. Greco di Tufo, fiano (especially from Avellino) and falanghina are among the best white wines, characterful and perfumed. Of the red varieties it is aglianico that makes the most impressive examples on the volcanic soils of Taurasi, though there is potential promised and realized in other varieties like piedirosso.

There are excellent aglianico wines from Basilicata, the once impoverished region on the instep of the Italian boot. Inland on the border with Puglia, round the extinct volcano of Monte Vulture, the aglianico grape performs admirably to produce powerful ageworthy red wines that retain a thread of finesse.

Calabria is the toe of the boot, and another region of limited economic development in recent decades. From one end of the province to the other mountains form a spine and, unlike in Campania, the vineyards producing the best wines are on the flat. In particular the DOC of Cirò on the Gulf of Taranto in the east of the province produces perfumed red wines from the indigenous gaglioppo grape.

Across the Apennines on the Adriatic coast lies Puglia, a region that has begun to overcome a longstanding reputation for producing wines for bulk export but is now producing a range of fascinating good-value red wines from varieties like negroamaro, primitivo (aka zinfandel in California) and uva di troia. In the right hands all of them are capable of making very fine wines with plenty of ripe fruit, concentration and structure but without the overpowering alcohols that a hot climate and indifferent winemaking once routinely produced. They are also often excellent value. Puglia is largely flat, almost table-like lacking the softening effects of altitude must rely on the air conditioning of the sea and the skill of the winemaker to make balanced wines. Vines are consistently bush trained to retain shade and moisture. The best wines come from the Salento peninsula where the sea is on three sides and the best producers reside. Full-bodied negroamaro from Brindisi and Copertino and primitivo from soils underpinned by limestone in Manduria can be excellent Whites tend to be greco, fiano and minutolo, and there are some well-flavoured rosé wines as a speciality of the region. Whites too are now catching up in quality.

Sicily has shown itself to be one of the most forward thinking Italian regions in recent years, with an awakening pride in the quality that can be achieved on this hot, socially complex and culturally saturated island. Sicily was once famous for the fortified Marsala wines that Nelson bought to victual his Mediterranean fleet, but as this fame and the sales that went with it dwindled many producers recognised that there was a need to produce table wines of greater quality. Bulk wine still leaves the island in tankers but there has been something of a revolution in viticulture and viniculture and Sicily now produces some of Italy’s best and most interesting wines. Nero d’Avola has been a conspicuous success, and makes everything from fruity entry-level reds to powerful, ripe and structured reds that can age and is often a major component in high-quality blends with syrah, cabernet and merlot. Mount Etna is a source of fine reds and whites of depth, finesse and zest, grown on the slopes of the famous volcano. Altitude and volcanic soils provide excellent conditions for the local nerello mascalese, nerello cappuccio and carricante (a white grape) vines. The white former mainstays of Marsala production cataratto and grillo are being given their head by winemakers who want them to shine alone and shine they do. Finally there has been a renaissance of interest in the intense, sweet muscat wines of the island of Pantelleria, an island closer to Tunisia than Sicily.

Sardinia, until 1708 a Spanish possession, grows several vines that reflect an Iberian heritage. Graciano and mazuelo grow here as bovale sardo and boval grande respectively. Cannonau is grenache/garnacha by another less Spanish name. The grape that the island has exported to other parts is vermentino from which its finest, aromatic and flavoursome whites are made. Mazuelo, better known as carignan, makes the islands best reds called carignano del Sulcis.
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Planeta

The Planeta family has been one of the most dynamic influences in improving the quality of Sicilian wines in the last 30 years. The late, great driving force of the company, Diego Planeta first planted vines in 1985, in his home town of Sambuca di Sicilia, and began commercial production under his own label in 1995. There are now 93 hectares of vines here, but Diego expanded his vineyard sites across the island, and the company now produces wines from six separate locations.

The largest of these is a 120-hectare site in Menfi, his wife’s hometown, where the soils are particularly well suited to growing fiano as well as international grape varieties like syrah. This is now the site of Planeta’s main winery, and for many years Diego was also president of the Settesoli co-operative here.

After settling in Menfi, Diego acquired 34 hectares of vines in the south-east at Vittoria, where he had long had land for growing tomatoes, and here he specialises in two native grape varieties, nero d’Avola and frappato. There are 51 further hectares of nero d’Avola further east at Noto, and more recently Planeta invested in six hectares on Etna, making sparkling and still carricante.

Planeta remains very much a family business, with seven children and 15 cousins, six of whom are fully involved in the business. Though the loss of Diego in 2020 was a blow, Planeta is in good hands for the future.

2018 vintage reviews

JancisRobinson.com

Carricante vines are planted at 800 m on volcanic soils. Nutty lime flavours and light chewiness. Amazing texture. Actually, this is an amazing wine in every way. It has so much extract that you can't...

Carricante vines are planted at 800 m on volcanic soils. Nutty lime flavours and light chewiness. Amazing texture. Actually, this is an amazing wine in every way. It has so much extract that you can't believe it's only 12.5% alcohol. Fresh and grippy - but maybe a geeks' wine? I love it! It's so persistent and it's a pretty good price considering the age and quality.

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Jancis Robinson MW

New Statesman

... a wine that seems imbued with the Christmas spirit of internalised resentment and reluctant compromises ... a lovely carricante, stony and mineral, with a touch of riesling that adds fullness and a...
... a wine that seems imbued with the Christmas spirit of internalised resentment and reluctant compromises ... a lovely carricante, stony and mineral, with a touch of riesling that adds fullness and a breezy tropicality. The vines grow on Etna in Sicily, but because they are above the arbitrary line that demarcates the appellation, Planeta aren't allowed to say so.: the label's reference to an eruption is only clear if you know the subtext.
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Nina Caplan

Times of Tunbridge Wells

If you cannot go to Sicily this autumn, bring Sicily to you. When did you last drink a high-altitude carricante? This stunning example of the crisp, late-ripening, Sicilian white variety, is an absolute...
If you cannot go to Sicily this autumn, bring Sicily to you. When did you last drink a high-altitude carricante? This stunning example of the crisp, late-ripening, Sicilian white variety, is an absolute joy and one that bowled me over at the recent press tasting at 67 Pall Mall. It�s a spectacular rendition from one of Sicily�s premier producers and made from carricante grapes (with a soup�on of Riesling) planted at 800m in the Sciaranuova vineyard on volcanic sandy soils derived from lava flow deposits laid down to the north of Mt Etna in 1614 (the longest ever eruption recorded, lasting ten years no less). A very distinctive and utterly delicious carricante with lime and orange blossom aromas, a mineral-accented palate and touches of pear, aniseed and green apple. Long, pristine and exquisitely formed, this is classy stuff. Consider me suitably impressed. One for arancini, sashimi, herb-focused dishes (hello pesto) and oily fish such as mackerel and sardines.
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James Viner

Club Oenologique

This Carricante with a dash of Riesling has an attractive citrus nose. It�s fresh and savoury on the palate with fine saline texture. This is like a dip in a cold pool � it makes your skin tingle. The...
This Carricante with a dash of Riesling has an attractive citrus nose. It�s fresh and savoury on the palate with fine saline texture. This is like a dip in a cold pool � it makes your skin tingle. The fruit is crunchy green apple and lemon zest, all beautifully set off by the intense acidity. Excellent, and with integrity of acidity and fruit to keep it alive for a good few years. 90/100
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Adam Lechmere

JancisRobinson.com

A touch of struck-match reduction but it is subtle and perfectly judged. Deep citrus but still with a stony mineral edge. Mouth-watering intensity and great length and ageing potential. Toasty aftertaste. ...
A touch of struck-match reduction but it is subtle and perfectly judged. Deep citrus but still with a stony mineral edge. Mouth-watering intensity and great length and ageing potential. Toasty aftertaste. Good value. 17/20
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Julia Harding MW

decanter.com

Carricante is Sicily's most exciting white grape when grown at altitude, as it is in this wine (800m on volcanic sandy soils). Blended with 10% Riesling here, it creates a taut style with a leesy...
Carricante is Sicily's most exciting white grape when grown at altitude, as it is in this wine (800m on volcanic sandy soils). Blended with 10% Riesling here, it creates a taut style with a leesy character from six months ageing in steel with continuous stirring, warm lemon citrus notes and a finish that lingers. This has a good sense of place, with good structure despite the modest alcohol.
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Amy Wislocki

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