There is a flaw with this wine. It doesn’t have a screwcap. Otherwise, it’s pretty close to a perfect $10 wine.

Some two years ago, the Notorius was the first great, cheap Sicilian wine that I tasted, and it led to even more great, cheap Sicilian wines. The 2009 vintage of the Notorius ($10, purchased, available at Centrsl Market) has much of what the 2007 did: a richness not usually associated with wines at this price; a clean, long finish, and subdued lemon fruit. There’s also some spiciness I don’t remember from the 2007, as well as new, well-done, U.S. consumer friendly packaging.

Don’t be intimidated if you don’t recognize grillo, the grape used in the wine. It’s native to Sicily and has been around for centuries as a grape in marsala, but only recently has been successfully turned into table wine. It’s a seafood and grilled chicken kind of grape, and would also pair with vegetarian main courses. I drank it with couscous flavored with onions, mushrooms, and saffron, and it did quite nicely.

Notorius 2007 review: “More complexity than the usual cheap Italian wine.”

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