2013 Arianna Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco Terre Siciliane IGT, Sicily, Italy.
What more is there to say, Occhipinti is on a roll, and Arianna’s wines are of great interest all over the world from New York, California and other wine hot spots in the USA to many cities in Europe and even in Asia, in fact on my last trip to Sweden I found Arianna Occhipinti’s wines in remote small villages there, quite remarkable for such a small winery in Sicily. She is a star, not just with the Natural Wine crowd, as mentioned in prior reviews of her wines, she fan base is wide and covers many generations, her wines have mass appeal and her charm and charisma has inspired many a young winemaker, she has send her ideas and concepts far beyond what you’d think was possible. And regardless of the hype and mystic surrounding Arianna, her wines are honest and show an earthy flair with intriguing qualities and character, especially her latest set of wines, and her SP68 Bianco (white) stands out as stylish, perfumed and seductive. The SP68 Bianco is a Zibibbo based cuvee, it is wonderful dry and has a great play between it’s floral intensity and savory elements, Zibibbo is a native varietal that is also known as Muscat of Alexandria which in turn is related closely to Muscat or Muskateller, it is a very aromatic grape that is also enjoyed as a table grape, it does particularly well in hot climates and while it is best known for sweeter styles of wine it does when farmed right produce a fine drier style of wine, and Arianna’s is delightful, soulful and detailed. The nose is a wonderland of jasmine, white rose, geranium, rosemary and salty bin with a chalky essence and crisp medium weighted palate, this is exotic and addictive in the glass, and this 2013 is the best yet in my opinion, with deep complexity and less funky/resiny, in the past the pine needle notes could be oppressive, but in this vintage a marvelous balance is evident and juicy citrus and tropical fruits lead the way, lemon/lime, tangerine and light mango notes along with that liquid flowers, mineral spice and earthy herbs. This soft golden/yellow hued white is pure Sicily in the glass and would be fabulous with their local cuisine, and is a perfect summer and or spicy seafood wine, drink now, from 2014 to 2018.
($28 Est.) 92 Points, grapelive
avail at www.sfwtc.com ($26.95)