Guccione ‘Arturo di Lanzeria’ IGT Sicilia Perricone 2008

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Portland shames BC with its affordable housing, broad minded and independent food purveyors, coffee roasters, micro breweries, and lack of sales tax. It also happens to be one of the best places in the US to buy wine with top retailers such as Vinopolis and Liner & Elsen. Why? Backward, regressive British Columbia taxation and regulation.

That said, not every Portland restaurant has a wine program worthy of the selection available in the state. Multiple James Beard nominated Nostrana is one of the great exceptions, with a list filled with wonderful, obscure Italian wines.

Misunderstood Sicily

My previous experience with a Guccione white (made from the indigenous grape Catarratto) couple years ago proved to me Sicily is sorely misunderstood both in North America and in Italy itself. Too many exporting producers fail to embrace the unique terroir and indigenous varieties of that Island, and there is far too much emphasis on the mediocre Nero d’Avola grape. Enter Guccione.

Guccione holds 6 hectares of land in northwest Sicily, near the city of Palermo in a subzone called Cerasa. This is seriously unique terroir, with clay, chalk and iron soils in a climate that hasn’t seen rainfall since 2005. The resulting biodynamic dry farming produces wines of tremendous character, made with indigenous yeasts, no fining or filtration and minimal sulphur.

Idiosyncratic Italy

The indigenous Perricone grape, when in the hands of Guccione, is powerful, fruity, lifted, highly aromatic, bitter and insatiable on the palate. This wine embodies all the qualities of great Italian red wine and is utterly idiosyncratic. This is why Italy is the most exciting wine producing nation in the world.

Yet another wine and producer that needs to be imported into BC.

$60 on the wine list at Nostrana, Portland


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