Spadadora's DiVino at 25% off: On sale and still racy

spadafora divino sicilia 2003 i.g.t white wine chardonnay grillo inzolia blendIffy storage conditions and a wine's eventual oxidation often come to mind at any liquidation sale. The SAQ may be liquidating many bottles, but of all the ones they are discounting and of all the wines I created a handy cheat-sheet for, the most suspect bottle, a Sicilian white blend released a few years ago, ends up as my surest bet.

I say that because I've just checked on it and the Spadafora DiVino 2003 (image at left shows an earlier vintage) is doing fine. And not just fine as in passable, but fine as in status quo. Over the last 12 months or so I tasted it many times and each prior tasting seems to have nothing on the one that follows. I actually had one of these bottles tucked away in my fridge from the last time the SAQ discounted this wine (it was 20% off then but now it's even more steeply reduced). Opening it last Saturday night, I was worried it would be past it but it surprised me. Not bad at all for a style of wine that is without any promise to age and proudly considers itself drink now.

Or at least that's what the experts have said. It is however a blend made up of some seriously consistent Chardonnay grapes, which when handled right can develop nicely with time. But perhaps the consistency comes from another component of the blend. The Chard is added to the regional grape Inzolia (which along with compatriot Sicilian varieties Cataratto and Nero d'Avola are a lot of fun to say). Inzolia typically makes a viscous wine and its flavour profile of nuts and citrus are... yes, in fact they are similar to Chardonnay's as well. The rest of the blend is composed of Grillo, which mostly considered a Marsala grape.

In any case, the wine was perfect. I forgot how good this $20 bottle was. Priced now at only $14, it's showing off its golden-green hue. It's still got the exotic aromatics on the palate. They act as a buffer to its lovely structure and great richness. Don't serve it too cold. There's an edge of raciness too, for it still possesses a crispness -- fresh and dazzling.

Do buy now and do drink now. But clearly, if you do have to hesitate somewhere along the line, you're better off hesitating in opening it, after you've picked it from the SAQ. For though it's clear that there's life yet in this wine, its other shelf life -- its time remaining on SAQ's discount displays -- is clearly limited. This morning there were four bottles remaining in the downtown Montreal area but now as I write this there are none (luckily I got two of them).

So don't wait in buying it. Once store locations lose their stock, the price will eventually go back up. Back up to $19, that is, if the stock ever returns. The winemaker's site makes no hint of continuing to produce it.

Perhaps that's the real reason for the markdown: neither problem storage nor wine in decline, but simply catalog deletion, which is my favourite type. It's not a bittersweet goodbye, I tell myself, it's just "going out in style".

Dei Principi di Spadafora, Palermo, Italia. 13.5%.


Joe said...

sold out!

Marcus g58 said...

When I took two I thought the other two were taken by you!

And I even gave you a day's head's up before posting my glowing review for all to see :P

If you are totally crestfallen, there seem to be a lot at Beaubien. I wouldn't run all over town for it though. It's a neat little wine.

Brooklynguy said...

Hey Marcus,
Sorry to use this comment space as a forum for this question, but...I remember clicking on a link in one of your posts to Janis Robinson's review of the 2004 in SOuthern Rhone. I cannot find your post with that link - do you remember the post?