Planeta, a well-known Sicilian wine producer, apparently has a centuries-old agricultural tradition that seems to date back even to the 1500s. Despite this, Planeta has operated as an autonomous producer in the wine sector only since the mid-1990s, when it separated from Settesoli, the large social winery of the Menfi area, near Agrigento.
The Cellar, driven in its main choices by the recently deceased Diego Planeta, today represents one of the main protagonists of the Sicilian wine renaissance. The property is still owned by about fifteen cousins, who are barons and, contrary to many with noble titles, decided not to call the family winery after their title, only for increased recognition.
With almost 400 hectares of vineyards, planted directly by the family and distributed in six different estates, Planeta is present in the most suitable wine-growing areas of Sicily: Ulmo in Sambuca di Sicilia, Dispensa in Menfi, Dorilli in Vittoria, Buonivini in Noto, Feudo di Mezzo in Castiglione di Sicilia on Etna, and La Baronia in Capo Milazzo. The bottles produced are now close to two and a half million, more than half of which are exported.
We tasted a wine that is certainly territorial, Burdese 2007, however it is made with international grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon (about 70%) and Cabernet Franc, a typical Bordeaux blend.
During the 2007 summer, after a couple of short but intense heatwaves, temperatures stabilized and persistent high pressure gave a harvest without rain and with extraordinary ripening. Really a very good vintage in many areas of Sicily.
The vineyards located at an altitude between 100 and 400 meters above sea level, are in the Dispensa estate for the Cabernet Sauvignon and in the Maroccoli for the Cabernet Franc, where the grapes find ideal expressive conditions. Dispensa’s soil is characterized by the absence of rocks and has a medium level of limestone. In Maroccoli, the soil is pebbled, with a strong presence of rocks, and clay with an abundant limous fraction. Also, the slope ensures perfect drainage.
The vineyards are managed by a spurred cordon system with a planting density of 4,500 stumps per hectare. Cabernet Sauvignon (with a yield of 75 quintals per hectare) and Cabernet Franc (60 quintals per hectare) find in these vineyards the best conditions that will then characterize the wine.
The grapes are then vinified in the Ulmo winery, in the Menfi area. After destemming and pressing, the alcoholic fermentation lasts about three weeks with the skins remaining in the must before racking. The malolactic fermentation is then conducted in both wood and steel containers. Lastly, the wine stays in Allier’s new oak barriques for 14 months.
Now, let’s taste Burdese 2007.
Dark garnet color with hints of ruby. On the nose it is very deep and complex, expressing varietal notes of dried violet, jam ofsmall black fruits, tomato leaves, incense, with leather and eucalyptus at the end. There are a complexity of aromas and flavors thanks to the Sicilian sun.
On the palate it is powerful, really bodied, balanced, with a significant tannic texture. This wine also shows great freshness despite the aging, and still produces considerable salivation in the mouth. Tannins and acidity are balanced by high alcohol content and glyceric softness due to considerable aging. The strong palate is focused on ripe fruit flavors and an aftertaste of cocoa and Mediterranean aromatic herbs such as rosemary. Burdese is a great wine, made for aging, it is energetic and powerful, to be enjoyed with food pairings of equal strength and character like meat stews or game, preferably with vegetables.