First, a brief memory: I visited Gorghi Tondi in 2017, a guest of sisters Annamaria and Clara Sala. They are the fourth generation to manage the estate, which flanks the Mediterranean Sea and inhales its salty breezes.
The sunset that evening was spectacular, limpid. It felt like I could see clear across to Tunisia.
The winery produces and impressive array of still, fizzy, sweet, and dry wines, made from both autochthonous and international grapes — including, remarkably, a sparkling Müller-Thurgau.
We enjoyed several of these at a welcome dinner that featured hummus, caponata, red prawns with hand-rubbed couscous, and a panoply of other Mediterranean dishes. This region of Sicily inherits culinary traditions from both Italy and North Africa, rolling it into a cuisine that’s all its own.
Gorghi Tondi’s white Rajàh is 100 percent Zibibbo, also known as Muscat of Alexandria. The grape is used for the region’s sweet passito wine, but here it’s vinified dry. The fruit, certified organic, was fermented in stainless steel, where it rested for six months on lees prior to bottling.
Pale yellow gold, the wine is wildly perfumed of jasmine, ripe apricots, and spring flowers. Its zesty palate carries floral-fruity tropical flavors that suggest mango and passion fruit. Pronounced acidity and a lovely salinity pull the wine into balance. It tolerates air beautifully; I had the bottle open for three full days without remorse. Pair it with light fish and shellfish, milky young cheeses, or spiced cuisine.
2020 Gorghi Tondi Zibibbo Secco Rajàh Sicilia DOC
13% ABV | About $15 (sample); imported by Sheehan Brothers Corp.