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donnafugata polena 2008This ‘ere bottle of white was brought for one reason only; it wasn’t because the wine was produced in ‘region of the moment’ Sicily, nor was it due to the ‘interesting blend’ of Catarratto and Viognier. T’was the label, Guv’nor.

I admit to being a sucker for a chic label.

Here we have colour and trendy graphics luring me, the punter, to hand over near £11 to the Oddbins counter-man for a bottle of Donna Fugata Polena 2008.
Being from Sicily is a plus point but one negated by that £10.99 price point. After tasting that price becomes an issue – it’s too high. A decent wine mind – green tinged colour, citrus and gravel nose, mineral texture, tropical fruit edge with a citric burst on the finish, a delicate edge – just more impressive at a £6.99/£7.99 price point. That’s the equivalent of two broad-sheet Sunday’s or two tubs of locally grown gooseberries form my local produce shop. All relative I guess. You have to pay for the trendy labelling (and matching yellow plastic cork) somewhere along the chain though.

In comparison this Portuguese red – Qunita de Bons-Ventos – has an incredibly dull, verging on the hideous, label. Just £4.99, also purchased from Oddbins.

A delicious wine though – berry-led, full, rounded, smooth tannins and long, long inky finish. Delicious on its own but highly improved with food. An artisanal steak pie and (oven) chips was a lovely pairing. When matched with this hearty dish a delightful red-berry crispness shines through. Another plus for the grape mix: Castelão (Periquita), Camarate, Tinta Miuda and Touriga Nacional. Perfect for a mid-week slurp.



White Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Donna Fugata polena, 2008, Sicily, Italy.

Stockist: Oddbins Price: £10.99 [More: / Snooth]

Scribblings Rating – 86/100 [3.25 out of 5]



Red Wine Review/Tasting NoteWine Tasting Note: Quinta de Bons-Ventos Vinho Tinto, 2007, Estremadura, Portugal.

Price: £5.99 Available from Oddbins [More on / Snooth]

Scribblings Rating – 90/100 [3.75 out of 5]

quinta de bons-ventos 2007

6 Comments »

  1. Hande says:

    At that price, you are right! Here the price is about 7-8 Euros…

  2. Dylan says:

    Quality in wine is a merit that should always precede quality in label design. If possible, managing to exercise the merit of both is ideal.

  3. I grew up in Sicily and have to say there great wines much cheaper that the one you mentioned…Usually when the label is so elegant, they´re more expensive but it obviously doesn’t mean they taste better. One of the Sicilian wine I’ve ever tried is Syrah by Montalto, really good.

  4. Andrew says:

    Sadly the UK ranks fifth (I think) in the table for the most expensive alcohol in the world; hence the high prices.
    I’ll look out for the Montalto Roberta, thanks for sharing.

  5. wine direct says:

    There’s nothing wrong with trying something new – even if you chose the wine based on the label. However it’s not the wisest way to find a diamond in the rough. What I don’t agree with is companies that rely on label marketing (read an article about ‘Sopranos’ wine recently) and not quality.

  6. Andra Schuhe says:

    Label certainly play their part, especially when I lay occasional drinker finds himself in front of a never-ending shelf of wines.
    But on me, these two labels have an opposite effect. I mean I´m more attracted by the poroguese one which I find more traditional=reliable=serious. The Sicilian one seems to me just a marketing measure and let me think that if they need that, then the wine musn´t be that good..

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