Le cheap c’est chic. The Berebene 2022 Award for Dardinello

Zibibbo Secco, 100% DOC Sicily, 100% organic.

The Dardinello Assuli 2020 wine receives the Price Quality Award within Gambero Rosso’s Berebene 2022: now in its thirty-first edition, the guide is aimed at wine lovers and operators (wine bars, restaurants, bars, pizzerias), who are increasingly focusing attention on the quality of the wines without forfeiting the careful selection of the best products.

Dardinello enshrines a special and very commendable intent: to demonstrate to those practical in the sector, journalists and enthusiasts, that it is wholly possible to create an excellent product at an affordable cost (fixed sale price to the public 13 Euro). It is an “intriguing” variation from Zibibbo grapes, a name that derives from the Arabic zabฤซb (ุฒุจู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ู€ูŠู€ู€ู€ู€ุจ) eand which means ‘raisin’, pleasant and very typical of western Sicily. Unusually vinified in the dry version.

With this wine Assuli underlines its intent to promote monovarietal vinification of organically farmed native grapes. The clusters of zibibbo are traditionally vinified, without overripening, simply after having picked them just ripe. Having undergone very soft pressing and fermentation at a controlled temperature, Dardinello stays in steel vats for 4/5 months and then completes the refinement in the bottle for at least 2/3 months before being ready to amaze. In the 2020 version with peach on the nose, an intense and persistent bouquet, with citrus nuances, a fresh and soft palate follows, with a pleasant harmony of salinity and minerality. Perfect with fish dishes, even smoked, raw, fried, crustaceans, molluscs, with a pasta with sea urchins it is fun. It thrills everyone.

Compared to other dry Zibibbos, the applause increases. The most striking feature is its aromatic intensity, which focuses more on complexity than on immediacy. The Dardinello bouquet brings to mind a terrace on the shores of the Mediterranean, right there where one finds the exuberance of the lush flowers and fruits of Sicily that gives rise to this wine. Just like its pop label, with aquamarine shades and soft turquoise colouring.

Zibibbo is a grape like that, you like it right away. Reaffirming how good and expensive do not always go hand in hand, with a wine that adapts to understatement. The answer is Dardinello, a sustainable wine, fully expressing the Sicily DOC wines, which looks to the future with care for the environment and quality.

Even its name creates a link with the culture which the island has in abundance. Dardinello is in fact the youngest of the Saracen sovereigns as narrated by Ludovico Aristo in his poem Orlando Furioso who, under the leadership of Agramante, besieged Charlemagne in Paris. Despite his age, he fights with great passion: he injures some Christians in combat, but many more end up as his victims, proving his ardour and virility.