This is the time of the year Italy goes on holidays. Shops, banks, administration, all are closed. The doctor and the plumber are at the beach, the mechanic and the lawyer in the country side. Some foreign based supermarkets keep open and people working there do not try hard to hide their sorrow. Instead of king the clients are treated as traitors. My friend Franco invited me over to his country house in mainland Sicily. We went for a walk at six, when the outside temperature became bearable again. The immense beauty of the mountains, the olive groves, the vineyards, freshly reaped wheat fields. Above us thick clouds. At home a bottle of Donnafugata was waiting for us.
This winery took its name from an ancient story of a fleeing woman -donna in fuga. Taken hostage by a cruel count, queen Bianca of Navarra manages to escape and is chased all around Sicily. Hence the female images with waving hair on the labels of this winery. Floramundi features a brightly coloured label with a woman juggling flowers. Nice.
It is well after nine when we sit and open to taste the wine. The colour, as far as the soft light illuminating Franco’s porch permits. is a light ruby. I did ask for more light but that would only attract mosquitos. Fair enough. And maybe due the lack of light the nose was amazing. As anticipated by the label it was all very flowery with some peppery hints. An interesting, sensual fragrance. The taste was uncomplicated, rather straightforward. Fresh and softish, uniting the common Nero d’Avola with the much more interesting Frappato grapes. Franco identified an overtone of citrus fruit. He is not only blind but his tastebuds stopped working too. We did agree on the massive tannins, not on how we liked them: I did, he said it gave the wine unnecessary pomp.
We ate a lovely rabbit stew with oven baked potatoes. The latter, prepared with rosemary and good olive oil, were a perfect match. This is the perfect wine to bring to a dinner party: it seems to withstand stronger dishes and complete more subtle ones. The label design make it nice to see. Highly recommendable indeed. A nice tradition by Donnafugata. Floramundi is neither cheap nor expensive; reasonably priced I’d say.