The Grillo through time: The pleasure of ageing

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Vertical tasting of 6 Grillo vintages

We made it ! Despite the difficulties due to the particular period, our first Grillo vertical tasting took place in an atmosphere of serenity and conviviality thanks also to the interested participation and sense of responsibility of the guests who helped us to demonstrate that it is possible to organize an event in the winery in the maximum safety.
A small group, of course, made up mostly of journalists.
Thanks to the splendid day that gave us the opportunity to be outdoors and, above all, the wines that have aroused positive opinions, managing in more than one case to excite, the vertical tasting proved to be a beautiful moment of knowledge, discussion and comparison.
We have clearly shown that by working organically with great respect for nature and its cycles and by practicing careful viticulture, we can make from Grillo grapes a white wine capable of ageing for long time.
First of all it is necessary to constantly follow the vines and limit the yields to obtain high quality grapes.
Then in the cellar it is only necessary to preserve the integrity of the grapes to the maximum, favoring the natural development of fermentation without upsetting anything.
Here too reasoned and minimally invasive interventions.
We consider the “value of time” one of the fundamental elements in a wine, both in terms of refinement and aging.
There are never any scheduled releases, we only sell wines when they are ready. Then they are able to evolve over the years showing all the potential of the different grape varieties in the Virzì terroir.
Our Grillo white wine is mainly the result of two vineyards characterized by different altitudes and exposures.
To these grapes is added a further small amount of another parcel harvested in advance which brings considerable freshness.
When working with respect for nature, having a vineyard area of 100 hectares which gives the possibility of planting the same variety in different places is an important resource because it allows us to obtain lots of grapes with different characteristics that together give us a great result.
The fermentation is spontaneous from pied de cuve, the refinement is carried out in concrete tanks for about a year and a minimum quantity of sulfur dioxide is added only at the moment of bottling.
Before being placed on the market, the wine ages in the bottle for several months.
The tasting of each wine was introduced by reading the characteristics of the vintage directly from the notebooks that I, Francesco Spadafora, use to write down everything and then jealously guard. It is a simple gesture, but with a important content that makes us understand the great attention to detail and the craftsmanship of the production.

Below the wines tasted with some notes:

Principe G 2017

It is the vintage currently on the market, the only one in this vertical tasting to have a different name because since it is not Doc Sicilia (our choice is not to join to the Doc), from 2017 it is not possible

to put the name of the Grillo grape variety on the label. So we decided to call our Grillo white wine “Principe G”. The color is a bright, deep lemon. The nose is fine: citrus, Mediterranean herbs and exotic fruit, delicate and never too present. A brackish note characterizes this wine both on the nose and on the palate. It is fresh, agile and very long.

Grillo 2014

The color begins to turn a little towards golden and the aromas are more intense. Yellow flowers and citrus peel dominate the nose, while the palate stands out for its great balance with perfect acidity and flavor.

Grillo 2013

Already the color, medium lemon-green, lets us imagine a young and fresh profile. In fact it is a sharp, vertical, almost nervous wine which, several years after the harvest, seems animated by an inexhaustible energy.

Grillo 2012

It shows finesse and elegance with delicate scents of slightly withered flowers. Perfect harmony, freshness and excellent flavor give great pleasure. We are in a phase where the wine has grown a lot and clearly reveals its potential.

Grillo 2009

We are over 10 years after the harvest, but our white wine is still here to exhibit perfect integrity. Increase the complexity and a scent of kerosene appears. The palate is always lively, saline and very drinkable.

Grillo 2008

The color becomes deep golden: we are in a slightly more advanced evolutionary phase. The nose is rich and intense with citrus jam, scents of honey, scents of pastry and chamomile. The palate is full, soft and maintains an evident salinity.

After the vertical tasting came a surprise, the preview tasting of the vintages that will be released in the coming years to conclude our Grillo-experience with an eye to the future. Three vintages of Principe G, all tank samples (the 2018 that would be bottled the next day, the 2019 that already shows energy and intensity and a 2020 still in the making) and two vintages of Siriki, the Grillo wine macerated on the skins (2016 and 2017 , both promising and very different from each other).