Today’s post is about one of the wineries that I discovered at ProWein2015 last March: Abbazia Santa Anastasia – an organic and biodynamic producer from the beautiful island of Sicily.
Abbazia Santa Anastasia was founded in the 12th century as by members of House Hauteville, a petty baronial Norman family, as an abbey for monks. The monks quickly discovered that the terrain was perfectly suited to plan vines and that tradition was passed on for generations.
The present-day winery, however, was founded in 1982. All vineyards of Abbazia Santa Anastasia are located just outside of the Madonie Regional Natural Park in Northern Sicily. The area is mountainous with some of the highest mountains of Sicily being found inside the Madonie Regional Natural Park. Autochthonous grape varieties like Grillo and Nero d’Avola but also international grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon an Merlot are planted in their vineyards.
Below is a map which shows the location of Abbazia Santa Anastasia on the island of Sicily.
Abbazia Santa Anastasia produces over fifteen different wines which are all either certified organic or biodynamic. Even though the winery is not as well known as some of the bigger producers of the island, it had some success and its wines are available in many European countries, Russia, Canada and the US.
Let’s take a closer look at six of their wines.
2013 Abbazia Santa Anastasia Sinestesìa
Sinestesìa opened with intense elder flower and acacia, followed by passion fruit as the wine developed in the glass. Dry and mineral on the palate. Medium-bodied with a good structure and complexity. Harmonious with a balanced acidity. Good length.
2013 Abbazia Santa Anastasia Zurrica
This is a blend of 80% Chardonnay and 20% Grillo. The wine ages for six months in stainless steel tanks of which it ages on the lees for about 2 months.
A soft nose with only a few aromas such as quince, a bit of elder flower and some yellow apples. In the mouth, Zurrica was light-bodied with a low acidity. Fruit-driven, rather simple and easy-to-drink. Short aftertaste.
2011 Abbazia Santa Anastasia Sens(i)nverso
Sens(i)nverso is one of the winery’s varietal Nero d’Avola. The fermentation process takes place in cement vats whereas aging is done in large oak casks for 24 months.
Complex nose with a variety of aromas: Truffles, cocoa, lavender, plums and hints of cherries. On the palate, full-bodied with powerful tannins and a good mix of fruit and oak notes. Good balance and elegant. This was a sophisticated Nero d’Avola which came with a long-lasting finish.
2010 Abbazia Santa Anastasia Litra
Litra, a biodynamic varietal Cabernet Sauvignon, is the flagship wine of Abbazia Santa Anastasia. Fermentation takes place in cement and oak. After a 17-day-long maceration it ages for two months in cement vats followed by 24 months in French tonneau and barrique.
The wine had a wonderful nose with some leather, intense blackcurrant, a little bit of fresh-cut cedar, some dark chocolate and leather, as well as hints of black pepper. Litra was full-bodied, had a great complexity and powerful tannins. Slightly edgy with a moderate acidity. Earthy with lots of oak notes like dark chocolate. Persistent aftertaste.
2012 Abbazia Santa Anastasia Montenero
Montenero, which is Italian for Black Mountain, is a blend of 65% Syrah and 35% Cabernet Franc. It is fermented in oak barrels and then ages for about two months in cement casks, followed by 24 months in French barrique.
Unfortunately, this bottle was not clean and so the wine was not reviewed.
2012 Abbazia Santa Anastasia PassoMaggio
According to the technical sheet, PassoMaggio is a blend of 70% Nero d’Avola and 30% Merlot. The grapes are fermented in stainless steel tanks in which it also ages for five months. The aging process is then being continued for 9 months in barrique as well as in large oak casks.
Espresso beans, black cherries, vanilla and hints of leather on the nose. In the mouth, medium-full-bodied with a present acidity. Vivid, fresh wine with smooth tannins. Good length.
This wraps up my review of Abbazia Santa Anastasia wines. Have you tried any of these? Would love to hear your thoughts on them.
Please note that all of these wines were samples which were provided to me by an importer. All views are my own. For more information on Vino in Love’s sample policy take a look at this page.