An earthquake and marriage coincided in 1968. The Belice Valley earthquake destroyed Rapitalà winery in western Sicily, just as French Count, Hugues Bernard de la Gatinais, married Gigi Guarrasi and moved there. Together, they renovated their winery and vineyard. Six years later, Rapitalà began to lead modern wine-making in Sicily. Today, son Laurent continues their drive.
They own 618 acres ranging from 1,000 to 2,000 feet above the sea. Grillo grapes cut a western swath across these elevations. Now, I know what you are thinking: Grillo must be some funny Sicilian name for Pinot Grigio. Or maybe Grillo is grilled wine. Or maybe they name it after a local animal armagrillo. No! The Grillo grape comes from uncertain origins, but handles heat and often ends up fortified as Marsala. Rapitala harvests it early in mid-August.
Now, I could only get my hands on a 2012. But for $14 lets have faith and try it.
The APPEARANCE is light yellowish green with golden highlights.
The PALATE feels dry, light but hardly hollow, with pleasant crisp acidity.
AROMAS and FLAVORS come out fairly forward and bright with sage and pine nettles, dried white rose, gold pear, and lemon juice leading the show. Salt and wax carry for a medium plus length.
Rapitalà’s Grillo is just right for Spring. It is solidly good wine (3 of 5) even pushing five years away from vintage. This wine will provide a pleasant diversion to other easy but bright things like Pinot Blanc or Gris. Imagine warm evenings, finally breaking out the patio furniture and grilling some fish.