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  • Walter Speller
Written by
  • Walter Speller
14 Sep 2011

The season of Italian wine guides is upon us and, almost by tradition (or is it now the default position?), the first awards are leaked to the press. Chronache di Gusto, an online newsletter devoted almost exclusively to Sicilian wines, is the first to report on what it calls the 'prime indiscrezioni'. But it has double reason to be smug about this, as this first indiscretion is about the particular Tre Bicchieri, or Three Glasses, awards, the highest accolade of the Gambero Rosso Vini d'Italia guide, to be won by Sicilian wines. It is also the first edition to appear after the controversial departure of Daniele Cernilli, himself not shy of a controversy or two in his days as the chief editor of what was then Italy's most influential wine guide.

Chronache di Gusto
managed to get hold of the information disclosing practically all of the Tre Bicchieri awards for Sicilian wines, long before Gambero Rosso's official announcement later this month. Etna especially seems to have done very well, even if this comes as no surprise.

The following wines have all been awarded the coveted Tre Bicchieri:

ETNA WINES

Tenuta di Fessina, A Puddara 2009 Etna Bianco
Graci, 2010 Etna Bianco
Girolamo Russo, San Lorenzo 2009 Etna Rosso
Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Prephilloxera Vigna di Don Peppino 2009 Etna Rosso
Terrazze dell'Etna, Cirneco 2008 Etna Rosso
Firriato, Cavanera Rovo delle Coturnie 2009 Etna Rosso

OTHER SICILIAN WINES

Palari 2009 Faro
Cusumano 2009 Sagana
Planeta 2009 Plumbago
Settesoli 2009 Cartagho
Tasca d'Almerita 2007 Rosso del Conte
Feudi del Pisciott, Gianfranco Ferrè 2009 Passito*
Donnafugata 2009 Ben Ryè**
Pellegrino, Nes 2009 Passito di Pantelleria

* this is part of the Domini Castellare di Castellina group and the wine is from a range named after top Italian fashion designers

** this was the last wine served at a dinner for Masters of Wine given by the Grandi Marchi group of top Italian wine producers at the Italian ambassador's residence in London on Monday night at which all of 17 different wines were served to about 100 diners, including a decidedly bemused ambassador. Wine service, at our table anyway, was impeccable, courtesy of a talented sommelier from the New Hakkasan - JR