What We're Drinking: Jon & Tenuta Rapitala Chardonnay Grand Cru





Having been to Sicily last Summer to taste a range of Sicilian wines, I managed to trump the office by blending the work side of things - that's to say official work on Thursday and Friday (tasting wines – the tough side of the job), with a weekend of visiting quite simply one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to. As a place to visit it ticks every box!

Anyway rather than recounting the weekend part of my trip, on the Thursday and Friday we tasted a vast amount of Nero'd'Avola wines, Sicily's best known variety and a native grape of the island. It is rich and intensely flavoured and you'll find it on every restaurant wine list you visit and rightly so - it makes a stunning wine. That said, the wine I have chosen for my Wine of the Week is not a Nero d’Avola but a wine that made as big an impression on me as the country itself - the Tenuta Rapitala Chardonnay Grand Cru 2008.

While Chardonnay isn't necessarily what Sicily is best known for, the bottle used for the Tenuta Rapitala Chardonnay is quite simply superb. It weighs a tonne compared to most bottles of wine, so straight away you feel like you are about to drink something special before you even open it. On top of that the fact that the glass is embossed makes it a definite talking point when you are drinking the wine in good company.

The fact that a lot of the vineyards in Sicily are planted at high altitudes (as you can see from the picture), around the same altitude as where this wine is grown, makes for a really ripe tasting wine with deeply concentrated flavours. This is not a wine you will find on the high street and the flavour is intense yet so creamy. Put simply it is the best white wine I tried last year, not only due to the memories I get from drinking it but because it is quite simply outstanding in every way; packaging, taste and a great accompaniment to food. I really hope you take my word for it and even if you buy just one bottle - it is quite simply something you have to try!
 
Jon Carson 

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