Il Censo is a small, artisanal 65 hectare estate in south central Sicily. The proprietors are Gaetano and Nicoletta Gargano. The family has owned the property for 200 years and a variety of crops have been grown over time including olives and grapes. About twenty-five years ago Gaetano met Giampiero Bea, son of Paolo Bea, and under his guidance began to plant vineyards of white Cataratto grapes and black Perricone grapes. Viticulture and vinification are conducted under natural winemaking principles established by Paolo and Giampiero Bea.
The property is organically farmed. Grapes are hand-harvested, fermented with indigenous yeasts, are not fined or filtered and minimal or no sulfates are used. The Njuro is made with the Perricone grape which is almost solely grown in Sicily. It has an expressive, tannic character and is usually blended with Nero d’Avola to lend depth and backbone, but on its own Perricone can make highly aromatic and interesting wines. The Praruar orange wine is made with Catarratto. It is also indigenous to Sicily and is also thought of as a blending grape, or for making simple, everyday quaffing whites. However, with careful vinification it is capable of producing wines with texture, broad mouthfeel and crisp citrus notes. The Njuro 2016 has brambly dark fruit on the palate with moderate tannins and a pleasing rusticity. The Praruar 2017 is aromatic, with richness, depth and a certain tannic aspect from the skin contact. It is a nicely balanced, almost elegant orange wine.
The wines can be cellared but they aren’t really agers, they ideally should be drunk now or the near term, say in the next several years. These are pizza and pasta wines for those who want a step up from Chianti. We should take this opportunity to note the increasing number of excellent Sicilian producers in recent years, and Il Censo is one of them. Note also the close similarity of label design with Bea’s here-to-for unique, graphically busy look – obviously Il Censo proceeds with Bea’s approval. Il Censo also makes a small line-up of olive oils that you might be able to find if you hunt around on the web.
Il Censo Praruar Terre Siciliane Bianco 2017
Sale Price: $25.97
Il Censo Njuro Perricone Terre Siciliane Rosso 2016
Sale Price: $27.97
Past Cellar Selections:
Bordeaux 2009 – A Legendary Vintage
Walter Hansel Pinot Noir and Chardonnay 2018
Muga Rioja – Old World and New
Luigi Scavino Azelia Barolo 2016
Clos i Terrasses “Laurel” 2018 - Homage to Garnacha
Canon la Gaffeliere St. Emilion '15 & '16
Keenan Cabernet Reserve 2016 - Cult Wine for the Masses (Ha!)
Casanova di Neri 2016 – Historic Vintage & 99pts.
Falletto Giacosa – Grand Cru Barolo
Gianfranco Alessandria Barolo 2016
Chandon de Briailles - Wines Without Artifice
Magnum Bottles from CVNE Imperial
Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva – What were you doing in 1987?
Domaine Simon Bize 2018 – Value Burgundy
La Rioja Alta “890” Gran Reserva Rioja 2004
Alion and Pintia – The Other Vega Sicilias