A glass of wine that warms to you as you warm to it. 100% N.Mascalese it is very reminiscent of Champagne base wine. Delicate, subtle, layered. I tried this wine over three nights and it was better on the second and better still on the third. Fresh roses, ripe strawberry, doughy and quite mineral at its core. The palate weight and integration is fantastic, all elements of fruit, savoury, acid and texture meld together. It’s easy to miss this wine but it is very satisfying to drink to be sure. Don’t age it, drink it and enjoy it. Graci will make any food match look better. To let the wine shine either serve with something ultra-simple like grilled prawns or sashimi tuna.
Graci is 25 hectare of native Sicilian vines planted on the slopes of Mt Etna. The vines are tended organically by Alberto Graci, who was an investment banker in Milan until he inherited his grandfather’s Sicilian estate. Drawn to the active volcano he sold this estate to fund the purchase of his two current plots on Mt Etna. These wines are low intervention but still finely crafted. They are outstanding quality.
In a constant tussle with Puglia to win the title of largest volume produced each year, the wines of Sicily are as varied as its history. Delicate whites, full bodied reds and of course Marsala show the variation in climate and abilities of the various regions within the Island.
Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio
The two grapes of Etna Rosso DOC. Mascalese has to be at least 80% of the blend with Cappuccio making up the balance. To my palate Mascalese is the Pinot Noir like elegance and perfume of the blend while Cappuccio is the Merlot richness and roundness. Together they form a might combination.
Etna Rosato DOC
Must be at least 80% N.Mascalese up to 100%. The balance has to be N.Cappuccio or non-aromatic white grapes. Etna is an active volcano and therefore the soils are the most mineral laden of any wine growing area. The altitude and higher than average precipitation (compared to the rest of Sicily) mean these are wines of texture, ripeness and power, but also structure and subtlety. The rosatos offer charming delicate and subtle characters.