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The Sicilian wines have recently become all the rage, and the wines of Porta del Vento go a long way to explain why. A certified organic estate that also employs biodynamic growing protocol, Porta del Vento, or “Gate of the Wind” in English, sits at 600 feet above sea level in Valdibella in the province of Palermo. The name of the estate should give an inkling to the unique terroir of Porta del Vento--it’s high, scrubby, sunny, windy, hot and dry land. But beyond all of nature’s gifts (grapes do best when challenged a lot), this ten-acre estate employs some serious labor. Human hands dig the soil because machinery is too damaging to the local biodiversity, and likewise, hands pick the grapes used to make the estate’s wines.
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Porta del Vento Maque Perricone 2012 750ml
Porta del Vento Maque Perricone 2012 750ml
Price: $29.99

Wafting with saline freshness, the rustic, ruby-red Maquè Perricone 2012 bursts with sour cherries and black plums, white pepper and herbs, all laid atop a thrumming bass line of earth, iron and meat. It unspools on the palate with chewy tannins, saline minerals and an earthy mouth-feel, culminating in a finish that balances its acidic tartness and glycerin silkiness. Indigenous to Sicilia, Perricone may be a clone of Barbera, and it brings elements of that grape’s acidic, food-friendly profile, yet Perricone is nonetheless its own entity, responsible for a captivating profile of bitter fruits and silky texture. In the hands of Porta del Vento, who blends the grape with Nero d’Avola, Perricone’s blue-tinged grapes make for an unexpected, delicious wine; both grapes ferment together in oak vats with naturally occurring yeasts, and the wine ages in oak vats before being bottled without fining or filtration.