Wine review: 2008 Planeta – Maroccoli – IGT Sicilia

A few days ago I had a fantastic dinner with a few friends. We tried two Sicilian red wines – one from Planeta and one from Girolamo Russo. Today I will talk about Planeta’s 2008 Maroccoli and next week about Girolamo Russo’s 2010 ‘a Rina.


Founded in 1995, this young winery has its headquarter in the commune of Sambuca. However, the Planeta family has been involved in wine-making for 17 generations dating back to 1500s.

Many things changed in the last decade and today Planeta can count themselves in as one of Italy’s most well-known wineries. Each year they bottle 2.000.000 bottles. What started out with just a single estate expanded quickly and only recently Planeta opened their sixth estate. The estates are scattered over the complete island which gives Planeta the opportunity to produce a large variety of unique wines.. Another advantage for Planeta to have several estates is the fact that they can plant each grape that they cultivate on the most suitable soil.

Tasting Notes 2008 Maroccoli

2008 Planeta - Maroccoli - IGT SiciliaThe grapes for the Maroccoli (100% Syrah) are grown on their main estate in Sambuca di Sicilia. Planeta believes that Sicilia offers ideal growing for Syrah because of the geographic position of the island. Sicily has lots of sunshine and a dry climate – perfect for Syrah. Maroccoli is classified as IGT Sicilia.

Maroccoli was first produced in 1999. The wine underwent a 12-day fermentation process in stainless steel tanks. Maroccoli aged one year in French oak from Allier. One third new and two thirds old oak.

In the glass, the wine had a ruby red color with garnet hues. The label listed ABV was 14.5%.

On the nose, intense aromas of black cherries & coffee as well as soft aromas of black pepper, cinnamon, vanilla & viola.

In the mouth, Maroccoli was dry, warm and a little bit salty. The wine had a very soft acidity and mellow tannins. Full-bodied with intense notes of dark chocolate. Well-balanced with great harmony. Lingering finish. 

4.5 / 5 stars      

Parting Words

Maroccoli is one of the very best Syrah wines that I tasted. There were pretty much no flaws in this wine. It was simply perfect. Maroccoli is recommended. In Munich a bottle of Maroccoli retails for around 24€. According to Wine Searcher the wine is pretty much available world wide. However in most countries only older vintages seem to be available but 2008 is the current vintage.

Have you tried this wine? If you did then please share your thoughts about it in the comment section.


19 comments on “Wine review: 2008 Planeta – Maroccoli – IGT Sicilia”

  1. Sean P. Reply

    Planeta makes good wines. I tried their Cometa a few weeks ago. But I haven’t tried this one yet. Sounds amazing though!

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  3. TracyLeeKarner Reply

    We stumbled upon Planeta back in 2007 when our wine guy sent us 6 bottles of the 2001 Maracoli. Our conclusion was that Sicily is indeed the perfect climate for growing Syrah. a truly worthwhile wine–if you like for those who big luscious reds. (at that time, we got it for a ridiculously low price, can’t remember exactly but definitely less than $12/bottle. It was better than Syrah/Shiraz from other regions at twice and triple that price.

    • TracyLeeKarner Reply

      P.S.–your description of the ’08 is spot on with our experience of the ’01–so I’d also give this winery bonus points for reliable consistency.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thanks for commenting! 12$ per bottle was a real steal then! It’s good to hear that my tasting notes match yours 🙂 That really speaks for the consistency of the Maroccoli. I never tried the 2001 vintage though. Would love to do so some day in order to see how well the wine ages.

  4. talkavino Reply

    4.5 stars – that’s a pretty strong recommendation, Julian. I don’t have much experience with Italian Syrah ( I think I had a few inexpensive ones, and they were decent) – but this wine sounds like the one to try. I know that Planeta makes good wines – this is, unfortunately, is also reflected in their wine prices. I will see if I will have an opportunity to taste this wine at one of the distributor events.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      I highly recommend this wine and it’s not often that I rate wines this high but in my opinion the Maroccoli is one of the very best Syrah out there. I agree with you that the wines from Planeta are quite expensive but as long as people are willing to pay that much for them it’s unlikely going to change..
      Let me know how you like the wine if you get the chance to try it at one of the distributors’ events.

  5. wineking3 wineking3 Reply

    Good review, Julian. I can almost taste how delicious this wine must be just by reading your notes! The price is quite high though. Not sure if I will buy it but your rating for it is pretty high so I might..

  6. foodwine88 Reply

    I’m not familiar with Italian Syrah but the white wines from Planeta that I tried were pretty good so I might try a red wine from Planeta, too. The nose with coffee, cinnamon and black pepper is right up my alley!

  7. Marco van Puff Reply

    Gorgeous label! Judging from your tasting notes I’d say that the wine tastes as good as the label looks.
    Thanks for sharing your tasting notes with us!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thank you so much! I’m glad that you like my tasting notes 🙂
      It’s an outstanding wine and you should really considering giving it a try.

  8. winetalks winetalks Reply

    Planeta makes very good wine. One of my favorite producers (next to Donnafugata and Cosumano). Lovely description of the wine.
    The QPR seems to be pretty good. I’ve had lots of wine that tasted worse and cost far more than $35/€25.

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      In Germany 24€ is quite a lot for a bottle of wine. Most Germans are not willing to pay more than 5€ for a bottle of wine.. I know that’s shocking news..

  9. Andy Andy Reply

    I tried the 2006 vintage last year and really liked it. Unfortunately I never stumbled over the Maroccoli again.. Your tasting notes match what I remember from it. I love consistency in different vintages. That’s a big plus for the winery!

    • Julian Rossello Reply

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the 2006 vintage with us! I agree with you that consistency in different vintages is a sign of quality.

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