Wine Review: Planeta, Syrah Sicilia Rosso IGT 2007

Planeta, Syrah Sicilia Rosso IGTToday’s review is of a Sicilian varietal Syrah made by excellent Sicilian winemakers Planeta.

As usual, let’s first provide a brief overview of the Syrah grape variety.

The Bottom Line

Overall, I loved this Sicilian take of an international grape variety! PlanetaSyrah Sicilia Rosso IGT 2007 ($35) was a luscious red, with an elegant bouquet, interestingly devoid of those animal fur notes that Syrah from other geographic regions may exhibit. Despite its muscular ABV, the wine was wonderfully balanced and offered supple tannins counterbalancing its silky smoothness. Its rich, pleasant mouth flavors completed the picture.

Rating: Very Good and definitely Recommended Very Good – $$

(Explanation of our Rating and Pricing Systems)

About the Grape

Syrah is a black-berried grape variety that is indigenous to the northern Rhone region of France, where it was first mentioned in a document dating back to 1781 under the name “Sira de l’Hermitage“.

DNA analysis proved that Syrah is a natural cross between Mondeuse Blanche (a Savoie variety) and Dureza (an Ardeche variety) that probably took place in the Rhone-Alps region.

Syrah has historically been mostly grown in the Rhone Valley in France and in Australia under the name Shiraz, although recently its planting has become more widespread (as in the case of the Sicilian Syrah that we are going to review) as a result of an increasing popularity of its wines.

(Information on the grape variety taken from Wine Grapes, by Robinson-Harding-Vouillamoz, Allen Lane 2012 – for more information about grape varieties, check out our Grape Variety Archive)

About the Estate

Planeta’s Syrah is made out of grapes coming from the 42 HA Maroccoli vineyard situated at 450 mt/1,475 ft above sea level within Planeta’s Ulmo estate, located near the town of Sambuca di Sicilia (Agrigento), on the western coast of Sicily. The Maroccoli vineyard density is 5,000 vines/HA.

Ulmo is the first and the oldest among Planeta’s current estates: it became operational in 1995, along with its winery, and it encompasses some 93 HA of vineyards (including Maroccoli) where ChardonnayMerlot, Grecanico, Nero d’Avola and of course Syrah are grown in different crus.

Our Detailed Review

The PlanetaSyrah Sicilia Rosso IGT 2007 that I had was a red wine made from 100% Syrah grapes grown in the Maroccoli vineyard and had 14.5% ABV. It is available in the US where it retails for about $35.

The wine fermented in steel vats for 12 days at 25C/77F and aged 12 months in French oak barrique casks, 1/3 of which were new and the remaining 2/3 previously used ones. As you may know, the reason for using barrels that had already been used before is to limit the interference of the oak with the organoleptic profile of the wine, so that the tertiary aromas developed during the barrique aging period do not overwhelm but rather coherently complement the fruity secondary aromas developed by the wine in the fermentation phase.

As usual, for my review I will use a simplified version of the ISA wine tasting protocol that we described in a previous post: should you have doubts as to any of the terms used below please refer to that post for a refresher.

In the glass, the wine poured ruby red with purple hints and viscous when swirled.

On the nose, its bouquet was intensemoderately complex and fine, with aromas of black cherry, plum, tobacco, soil and leather.

In the mouth, the wine was dry, with high ABV and smooth; it was moderately acidictannic and tasty. It was full-bodied and perfectly balanced. Its mouth flavors were intense and fine, with notes of black cherry, dark chocolate, sweet tobacco and black pepper. Its tannins were supple and masterfully integrated. The wine had a long finish and its evolutionary state was in my view approaching its maturity, meaning the peak in terms of its potential (in other words, for best results enjoy it now or in the next year or so).

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About Stefano

I am a photographer and an ISA certified sommelier. I contribute to two blogs, Flora's Table (the fine cooking and wine blog - www.florastable.com) and Clicks & Corks (my photography and wine blog - www.clicksandcorks.com). My photography Web site is at www.LightQuill.com
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5 Responses to Wine Review: Planeta, Syrah Sicilia Rosso IGT 2007

  1. Dina says:

    I love the Planeta wines, dear Stefano. I never had a Planeta wine that wasn’t a pure delight to drink, but sometimes they are hard to find. Your excellent review makes me dream of a very tasty and delightful mouthful of this Syrah (the Cabernet Sauvignon in my glass next to me is everything but dry, smooth and warm!)
    I wonder if a white wine b the name of Lacrima I had some years ago and never found again came from Planeta.
    Enjoy your weekend! Lots of love and a big hug to the three of you from
    Klausbernd, Siri & Selma und Dina ♥

    • Stefano says:

      Thank you, dear Dina: I have to say I love Planeta’s wines too! 🙂
      They are so full of “character”.
      As to your question, as I mentioned on C&C, I think the white wine you had might have been a Lacryma Christi del Vesuvio of the white variety. That is an appellation from Campania and there are a few wines from certain producers within the appellation that are pretty good. One of the main varieties used in LCV Bianco is an indigenous white-berried variety called Coda di Volpe (literally, fox tail!) But what you had was certainly not from Planeta because they are a Sicilian winery and cannot make LCV.
      I hope you are enjoying your photo trip and can’t wait to see the images you are making! 🙂
      A big hug to the four of you,
      Stefano

  2. Dear Stefano,

    Although I know of Planeta wines and have tasted some over the years I knew very little about the estate, so I was pleased to read the details you give about the winemaker. I haven’t kept wine tasting notes for many years but even so I don’t think I have ever had the Planeta Syrah. One to look out for!

    I hope that you are having a good weekend.

    All the very best from B. 😉

    • Stefano says:

      Dear B,
      Thank you for your kind comment and apologies for my sluggish response time…
      I am glad to hear that you enjoyed reading the section regarding the estate: I also think it gives a little bit of extra color to the review, it helps putting everything in context so to speak. 🙂
      Hope you are having a wonderful week. 🙂

  3. Pingback: Wine Review: Planeta, Chardonnay Sicilia IGT 2009 | Flora's Table

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