Sincere praises on Albanello wines
Many illustrious people have written or spoken about the wines produced with this great and mysterious vine variety that, even if still unknown to most, once tasted can charm anyone. We cannot help mentioning the great journalist Giuseppe Coria, author of “Grandi Vini di Sicilia” (Great Sicilian Wines) and “Profumi di Sicilia” (Sicilian scents), and the famous film director Mario Soldati, both great connoisseur of local vine varieties and of the Sicilian gastronomic and wine tradition.
Coria, tasting an Albanello of 1946, described it accurately: “The Albanello wine is produced with the grapes of the homonymous vine variety, whose plants ripe long in the sun; even their leaves are cut in order to let every ray of sun shine through. The vinification is peculiar: the first fermentation is blocked and slowly restarted later. The wine shows a dark amber color, with golden transparencies. Its scent is typical of a very aged ethereal wine, with a full and majestic bouquet. Its taste is slightly sweet, with non-sweet traces: warm, velvety, generous, and more than harmonious. Natural alcohol content of 19% ”.
…and he affirmed it was one of the most long-living white wines, with an ageing capacity of up to 100 years! It is truly amazing, to say the least. Mario Soldati described it, on the other hand, as a true “ace”, one of the most appreciated Sicilian vine varieties. Some decades ago, a DOC was proposed for the Albanello wines, but it was refused probably because of its limited productivity. Nonetheless, Albanello is included among IGT wines.
Ampelographic description of the Albanello grape variety
Albanello’s morphological qualities allow us to describe it as a plant of medium vigour with medium-large leaves. Its bunches are medium-sized, short, conical or cylindrical, with one or two short wings, moderately compact, slightly straggly. Berries are moderately spheroidal or ovoid, with a moderately pruinose, thick and compact skin. They present a light yellow color tending to green, golden when exposed to the sun, and a typical sweet taste. The production of the plant is regular and the grapes reach maturity around mid-September.
Albanello is typically vinified with other grapes: the produced wine is particularly refined, with its strong straw-yellow color, a rich aromatic content and a rich taste structure. Even if it is not an aromatic vine variety, Albanello can develop very complex floral and austere notes over the years. It can be used to produce an intriguing and different wine, that does not only improve with time, but gives to those lucky enough to taste it a gentle but intense bouquet of scents and flavors very hard to forget. Even if Albanello’s history is lost in the midst of time, if we exclude some small local productions, some enthusiastic winemakers are making great efforts to restore it to its former glory and to let the entire world know about this white vine variety, proposing it to consumers more and more demanding and careful about the quality of what they drink.