“P”, Azienda Agricola Guccione, Perricone, Red-wine from Italy
Uh, this one is sour. Really sour. This is, frankly speaking, the first reaction upon tasting this wine. But you could probably also just call it: “I wasn’t expecting that.’
“P” by Francesco Guccione is an extraordinary, if not an unusual, wine. Not a wine for beginners, as I provoked on Instagram when I posted a photo of the label. P stands for the Perricone grape variety, also known as Pignatello, which, as far as I know, only grows in Sicily. Find out more about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perricone.
The wines of Francesco Guccione are perhaps the most radical organic wines from Sicily, where you can find some “world-famous” organic wine producers, such as Occhipinti and COS. Everyone who read my last post about COS (Zibibbio in Pithos, COS, 2016), knows about my friendly acquaintance Joanna. When we spent a very nice evening in the wonderful garden of Bar Sabadi at Modica, she introduced me to Francesco Guccione’s Trebbiano, which is truly wonderful – such a fantastic wine. Because of this, I decided to order two or three bottles of each of his wines, and I tasted “P” in recent days.
Admittedly, I was not ready for this sour experience. Mostly because, thinking of other Pignatello wines, I assumed that I would get something rather full-bodied and voluminous. Usually one expects to taste the dry, hot soil of Sicily. And indeed, that’s what happens with “P” as well, but in a very different way. You can really taste the motto of the winemaker: “earth – heat – water and light,” he describes on his webpage as the four elements of biodynamic wine-making. The fifth is the work of the winemaker. Btw: there is no vintage on the label, so I guess it is wine of 2015. The vineyard is located in the northwestern part of Sicily, not too far from one of the most beautiful churches in the world: the cathedral of Monreale. Anyway, the wine is very fresh, clear and in a way, elegant too, if I can also say that – and here I apologize for the choice of words – it has something very peasant – in a positive meaning – too.
I once described a wine from Spain (Les Paradetes, Conca De Barberà, 2009), which really tasted something like a sheep’s stall. There’s a very narrow ridge on which these winemakers walk, growing these native and robust vines and adding all their passion to create rare and extraordinary wines — but these wines are also very characteristic of the area. The wines from Guccione – I still know only two of them — are captivating. Have a look at Guccione’s webpage if your like: https://www.francescoguccione.com
Since I’ve mentioned Sabadi Bar in Modica: if any of you end up in Southern Sicily, please do go there. It is really such a beautiful place, and so peaceful: the bar is like a bar in a natural rocket ship surrounded by a garden of olive trees looking out over the old town of Modica. The food is excellent (a kind of Sicilian tapas), and you’ll find a smaller wine menu — but with an excellent selection of exclusively organic wines from across Italy and France. Look here: https://modica.sabadi.it/il-bar