Pretty, fragrant, red-berried, ironstone, lean acid, fine tannins. Does Graci Etna Rosso look a bit like Burgundy? You bet, especially with the mineral-laden palate that becomes really silky with some air. This is a quality wine. Graci Etna Rosso is best served with simple flavours to let the wine speak, handmade pasta would do well.
Graci Etna Rosso DOC 2018, and all wines are eligible for at least 5% off any six bottles. And 10% off any 12 bottles. Some wines will be at a more significant discount and not subject to further discounts.
An estate of 25 hectares 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. Etna Rosso, Etna Bianco and single cru wines are all of 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 mighty combination.
Etna Rosso DOC
Must be at least 80% N.Mascalese up to 100%. The balance has to be N.Cappuccio. 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) means these are wines of texture, ripeness and power, but also structure and subtlety. The reds are like a glorious blend of Chinon, Nuits-St-Georges and Chianti.
There are 1000s and 1000s of grapes in Italy. There are sub-alpine cool-climate regions in the North and Sun-baked vineyards in the South. Add to that volcanoes and many cultures within one Country. You could struggle to find anything uniform about the wines. The best of the best include Tuscan reds from Sangiovese or Cabernet. Nebbiolo from Piedmont, especially Barolo and Barbaresco. The aromatic whites of NE Italy from Garganega, Pinot Grigio, and numerous crazy blends. The volcanic wines of Mt Etna in Sicily. And many more.
The only generalisation I will make is that a lot of Italian wine is undervalued when compared to a similar French style.
Wine is the result you get from fermented grape juice. There is proof of wine production dating back 8000 years ago. Fashions, innovations and many other factors have influenced the way wine has evolved over the years.
The wine grape is special. It contains everything you need to make grape wine except for the yeast, which lives on the outside of the skins.
Human inputs can influence the final product, including the viticulture (growing) choices. And the winemaker can shape the wine to a point too.
The best wines of the world often refer to terroir. Terroir is a French term that refers to all the climatic, geological and topographical influences on a specific piece of land. And it is true that neighbouring vineyards, grown identically, can taste noticeably different.
Fun fact; most of the colour for wines comes from the skins. There are only a handful of grapes that have red juice. Alicante is the most well known of these grapes.
By macerating the juice on the skins, the wine gains tannins and flavours. Certain compounds change the chemistry of the wine too.
Red wines tend to have higher alcohol. More tannin and more oak flavours compared to other styles of wine. But the thousands of grapes and terroirs they grow in influence this.
The Wine Depository
I, Phil, have been running The Wine Depository since 2011. The Wine Depository exists to make sure you are drinking the good wines. You can browse and pick what is interesting to you. Or you can make contact with me. I’ll make sure you get what you want, to your palate, to your budget and to your door.