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An Italian White Fit for Fall

Planeta Sicilia White Cometa 2008
Nathan Wesley
Posted: November 24, 2010

As the cooler fall weather rolled into New York earlier this month, I needed some comfort food to shake the chill. I didn’t have much time nor will to cook, so I hit my local Whole Foods for a garlic- and herb-roasted chicken, as well as provisions to make garlic spinach and a shaved fennel salad on the side.

I would normally reach for a light red, such as Gamay or Pinot Noir, for the occasion, but I went for a Sicilian white instead. Planeta, one of the island’s top wineries, produces its Cometa from a white grape called Fiano. It’s most widely planted in the cooler climates in Campania, where it makes aromatic, medium-bodied wines, but Planeta’s bottling demonstrates the depth of flavors Fiano can achieve when grown in a hot climate.

Layers of dried mango, pineapple, candied citrus zest and wild herb matched the intensity of the tangy chicken and mellowed the bite of garlic throughout the plate. Yet it also had plenty of zip and a firm minerality, which kept it fresh for the fennel. Dinner was tasty, but it was the wine’s long, creamy finish that left the last impression and helped me shake my chill. I rated it 90 points, non-blind. members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Planeta Sicilia White Cometa 2008 (91, $40).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated whites from Sicily, along with our quick list of Top Values among Italian whites.

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