Today’s Story: Planeta Winery
Planeta is a large, family-owned and operated Sicilian wine estate that actually consists of six separate estates spread across Sambuca di Sicilia, Menfi, Vittoria, Noto, Etna, and Capo Milazzo. Though the Planeta family has been involved in Sicilian agriculture and viticulture for five centuries and 17 generations, they built their first winery under the Planeta Winery label only in 1995. Cousins Alessio and Santi Planeta founded the venture with their uncle Diego Planeta, who was already a well-established and highly regarded individual in the Sicilian wine world (particularly for his time with the Settesoli wine cooperative). Planeta is a major innovator when it comes to increasing quality of Sicilian wines, utilizing their vast terroir portfolio to trumpet both native and international varieties best suited for each individual site. Sustainability is a major push for Planeta, and they farm all vineyards with this in mind. Meanwhile winemaking can best be described as “open-minded,” a term that while vague speaks to the mission of producing wines with a sense of place and from the best varieties possible for each distinct estate.
To explore each estate in depth, peruse the extensive portfolio of wines, or simply view pictures of the incredible Planeta vineyards, I encourage you to visit their website here.
Today’s Wine: 2018 Chardonnay
100% Chardonnay; 14% ABV
The 2018 Chardonnay is pale to medium gold in color. Given some time to blossom in the glass, the aromas are of pronounced intensity and include ripe yellow apple, stone fruit, lemon zest, pineapple, vanilla cream, a hint of butter, and clove. Meanwhile the flavors on the palate are also of pronounced intensity, showcasing notes of yellow apple, pineapple, peach, white florals, butter, vanilla, clove, and crushed rock minerality. This dry Chardonnay is medium- to full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, high alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish. Comes across fairly Burgundian.
Price: $36. I think this actually offers pretty solid value, especially compared to the California Chardonnay and white Burgundy I tasted alongside it (they were 80% and 40% more expensive, respectively). The intensity and balance in this wine are quite good, and it should only improve with another 3-5 years in the bottle.