Wines of Etna

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Mattstolz
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Wines of Etna

#1 Post by Mattstolz » July 14th, 2019, 7:37 am

in the past week I've had two beautiful Etna Rossi (TNs below), and I want to ask the wine-mind for more suggestions from this place with similar style. These wines just nail it on the type of wine I love: light on its feet, strong acid backbones, bright red fruit notes, solid structure. Anyone have any other good Etna/Nerello producers that they suggest? I really wanna try more of these!

Frank Cornelisson Susucaru Rosso 2017
The CT notes on this are surprising and kind of all over the place but I love it. Easy to drink, bright, and fresh. Bursting with juicy red strawberries and cherries. The more simple of the two listed here for sure, but still very tasty. This used to be the "Contadino." Great at cellar temp or just slightly below, a really good food wine: pairs pretty well with everything from acidic salad dressings to lighter tomato sauces. Plenty of tannin to last, better with some air. (91pts)


Salvo Foti Vinupetra 2015
This wine is beautiful. All the way through from color, to aroma, to taste is enjoyable. I was a little surprised after reading notes on some of these that call it big and dark, because that was not my experience at all. In my glass this wine was a bright, partly see through ruby that was loaded with sour red cherries and a granite like mineral quality. This wine is like a good Nebbiolo, where the appearance disguises the structure and flavor bomb you get when it hits you. I am so curious to see how this does with a little age on it. (93-94pts... could be higher a few years down the road)

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Re: Wines of Etna

#2 Post by Bob Hughes » July 14th, 2019, 8:15 am

The bottle variation on Cornellissen's wines is such that it's no surprise that CT notes are all over the place.

I personally own more Passopisciaro than any other producer, but wouldn't say they are necessarily similar in style. If they were easier to track down, I would own a lot of Benanti, and I believe that Foti does some consulting with them, although to what degree I can't say.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#3 Post by Mattstolz » July 14th, 2019, 9:16 am

Bob Hughes wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 8:15 am
The bottle variation on Cornellissen's wines is such that it's no surprise that CT notes are all over the place.

I personally own more Passopisciaro than any other producer, but wouldn't say they are necessarily similar in style. If they were easier to track down, I would own a lot of Benanti, and I believe that Foti does some consulting with them, although to what degree I can't say.
from what I can gather, it seems like Foti is all over that mountain. I ran across some wines labeled "i Custodi" and when looking at shops near my hotel for an upcoming trip and I can't seem to find out if this is actually still a i Vigneri label or not... but seems like he's done a lot of consulting.

as for cornellissen, I originally read rave reviews about the Susucaru Rose, but have never actually enjoyed it very much. the rossi that I have had from him (2-3 bottles) have all been really enjoyable though. the rose just has too much of a natural note to it.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#4 Post by etomasi » July 14th, 2019, 9:45 am

Love Etnan wines.

Obviously Terre Nere for lighter style. The contratas age well. I've had a couple with 10+ years. Passopisciaro wines are nice as well, including all the contratas, which are all very different. The Passopisciaro bianco is a bit unusual because its 100% Chardonnay. Some smaller wineries I like are: Vino di Anna (Anna Maartins), and Davide Bentivegna,
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Re: Wines of Etna

#5 Post by John Morris » July 14th, 2019, 10:15 am

I recently tried the Moganazzi rosso from Vigne di Eli, the newish venture of Marco de Grazia, owner/founder of Terre Nere. It was pretty tight and underfruited when first opened (as nerello mascalese can be), but a half bottle of leftovers I stashed in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks showed very nicely last night.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#6 Post by Dan Sch » July 14th, 2019, 10:54 am

Another plug here for the etna wines from Alice Bonaccorsi. The etna Bianco and Rosso are both really solid, but we just had her 2007 Crucimonaci a couple weeks ago and it was gorgeous all around.

ALso like the Benanti and find their entry level etna Rosso and Bianco to be the best bang for the buck in the category.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#7 Post by Keith A k e r s » July 14th, 2019, 11:10 am

Hi Matt,

There’ve been some great suggestions so far. I would also fully add in Terre Nere and Graci for making great wines from etna and focusing on Nerello Mascalese

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Re: Wines of Etna

#8 Post by Ed Steinway » July 14th, 2019, 11:21 am

+1 on Graci. Love their Etna Bianco.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#9 Post by Tom DeBiase » July 14th, 2019, 11:35 am

Mattstolz wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 7:37 am
in the past week I've had two beautiful Etna Rossi (TNs below), and I want to ask the wine-mind for more suggestions from this place with similar style. These wines just nail it on the type of wine I love: light on its feet, strong acid backbones, bright red fruit notes, solid structure. Anyone have any other good Etna/Nerello producers that they suggest? I really wanna try more of these!

Frank Cornelisson Susucaru Rosso 2017
The CT notes on this are surprising and kind of all over the place but I love it. Easy to drink, bright, and fresh. Bursting with juicy red strawberries and cherries. The more simple of the two listed here for sure, but still very tasty. This used to be the "Contadino." Great at cellar temp or just slightly below, a really good food wine: pairs pretty well with everything from acidic salad dressings to lighter tomato sauces. Plenty of tannin to last, better with some air. (91pts)


Salvo Foti Vinupetra 2015
This wine is beautiful. All the way through from color, to aroma, to taste is enjoyable. I was a little surprised after reading notes on some of these that call it big and dark, because that was not my experience at all. In my glass this wine was a bright, partly see through ruby that was loaded with sour red cherries and a granite like mineral quality. This wine is like a good Nebbiolo, where the appearance disguises the structure and flavor bomb you get when it hits you. I am so curious to see how this does with a little age on it. (93-94pts... could be higher a few years down the road)

Nice notes Matt and I agree with your notes, especially the 15 Foti Vinupetra, a lovely wine. In regards to Cornelissen yes he pushes the boundaries sometimes but that is what I love. You want to throw it straight down the middle and taste good, that's fine but most great wines (and many great products) is usually "on the edges". That is Cornelissen.

Other Etna wines consumed and enjoyed recently were:

2017 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Bianco
2013 Benanti Pietra Marina Etna Bianco Superiore (great producer and bottle!)
2007 Massimiliano Calabretta Nerello Mascalese Vigne Vecchie (This is the current release!)
2013 Giovi "Akraton" Etna Rosso
2015 Cornelissen Munjebel CS (power and balance)

You really have to love the attitudes of the winemakers there. When Salvo Foti was asked if he was concerned about the relative high percentage of unknown grape varietals in his wine and the DOC he remarked "Sicilians always expect something illegal. So we don't worry".

Tom

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Re: Wines of Etna

#10 Post by Rich Salsano » July 14th, 2019, 11:43 am

Need to include Occhippinti in this discussion as well.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#11 Post by Dennis Atick » July 14th, 2019, 11:45 am

etomasi wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 9:45 am
Passopisciaro wines are nice as well, including . The Passopisciaro bianco is a bit unusual because its 100% Chardonnay.
Had the '17 Passopisciaro bianco in Montlacino last week on a hot night and it was most excellent. Also got turned on to Girolamo Russo's Etna Bianco Nerina (Carricante and bunch of other native grapes) by a somm in Rome while we there. A smacking good wine, clean and bone dry with racy acidity. A nice intro to the producer for me. However, around $40 state-side is unfortunately more than it cost off a list in Rome.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#12 Post by Markus S » July 14th, 2019, 12:41 pm

Rich Salsano wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 11:43 am
Need to include Occhippinti in this discussion as well.
Uh, Occhippinti is Sicialian but not Etna. Last I heard she does not make any Etna wines and uses totally different grapes.

You can pretty much shoot the wines from a barrel and be almost guaranteed a decent wine; the quality is overall quite good.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#13 Post by Bob Hughes » July 14th, 2019, 12:50 pm

What Markus said - while I enjoy the various Occhipinti wines, they are not from Etna.

Bonavita Faro is another wine that I have found interesting - not Etna, but relatively close geographically, and the same grapes.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#14 Post by Mattstolz » July 14th, 2019, 1:12 pm

Keith A k e r s wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 11:10 am
Hi Matt,

There’ve been some great suggestions so far. I would also fully add in Terre Nere and Graci for making great wines from etna and focusing on Nerello Mascalese
etomasi wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 9:45 am
Love Etnan wines.

Obviously Terre Nere for lighter style. The contratas age well. I've had a couple with 10+ years. Passopisciaro wines are nice as well, including all the contratas, which are all very different. The Passopisciaro bianco is a bit unusual because its 100% Chardonnay. Some smaller wineries I like are: Vino di Anna (Anna Maartins), and Davide Bentivegna,
I forget to mention Terre Nere! I have only ever had the basic Etna Rosso but I really liked it as well. Im curious from both of you, have you had the other bottlings (Sottana, PrePhyloxera, etc) and are they worth the price jump?
Rich Salsano wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 11:43 am
Need to include Occhippinti in this discussion as well.
I'm actually not against a vote for Occhippinti. I know I specifically said Etna but Ive been eyeing these as well. style-wise, would you say they are still in that bright red fruit type category? because they're NOT from Etna, Ive always worried her wines are gonna be bigger than I want from Sicily, always assumed Etna was so nice due to elevation over a very hot island.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#15 Post by Zachary Ross » July 14th, 2019, 2:16 pm

Calabretta makes terrific wines. The Vigne Vecchie mentioned above is superb.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#16 Post by Markus S » July 14th, 2019, 2:31 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 1:12 pm
... Occhippinti. ... style-wise, would you say they are still in that bright red fruit type category? ...Ive always worines are gonna be bigger than I want from Sicily, always assumed Etna was so nice due to elevation over a very hot island.
Lower elevation than Etna. Different, not bigger. Try them, you'll like them :)
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Re: Wines of Etna

#17 Post by Wes Barton » July 14th, 2019, 4:25 pm

Bob Hughes wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 8:15 am
The bottle variation on Cornellissen's wines is such that it's no surprise that CT notes are all over the place.

I personally own more Passopisciaro than any other producer, but wouldn't say they are necessarily similar in style. If they were easier to track down, I would own a lot of Benanti, and I believe that Foti does some consulting with them, although to what degree I can't say.
Benanti is widely distributed here in the SF Bay Area. K&L carries them, as well as markets and wines shops I frequent that don't ship.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#18 Post by Rich Salsano » July 14th, 2019, 5:11 pm

Markus S wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 2:31 pm
Mattstolz wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 1:12 pm
... Occhippinti. ... style-wise, would you say they are still in that bright red fruit type category? ...Ive always worines are gonna be bigger than I want from Sicily, always assumed Etna was so nice due to elevation over a very hot island.
Lower elevation than Etna. Different, not bigger. Try them, you'll like them :)
I would say if delicate light and bright red fruit is what you are looking for, you need to try her frappato. It’s why I mentioned Occhippinti when I saw the style you were looking for.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#19 Post by Nathan V. » July 14th, 2019, 5:42 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 7:37 am
in the past week I've had two beautiful Etna Rossi (TNs below), and I want to ask the wine-mind for more suggestions from this place with similar style. These wines just nail it on the type of wine I love: light on its feet, strong acid backbones, bright red fruit notes, solid structure. Anyone have any other good Etna/Nerello producers that they suggest? I really wanna try more of these!

Frank Cornelisson Susucaru Rosso 2017
The CT notes on this are surprising and kind of all over the place but I love it. Easy to drink, bright, and fresh. Bursting with juicy red strawberries and cherries. The more simple of the two listed here for sure, but still very tasty. This used to be the "Contadino." Great at cellar temp or just slightly below, a really good food wine: pairs pretty well with everything from acidic salad dressings to lighter tomato sauces. Plenty of tannin to last, better with some air. (91pts)


Salvo Foti Vinupetra 2015
This wine is beautiful. All the way through from color, to aroma, to taste is enjoyable. I was a little surprised after reading notes on some of these that call it big and dark, because that was not my experience at all. In my glass this wine was a bright, partly see through ruby that was loaded with sour red cherries and a granite like mineral quality. This wine is like a good Nebbiolo, where the appearance disguises the structure and flavor bomb you get when it hits you. I am so curious to see how this does with a little age on it. (93-94pts... could be higher a few years down the road)
That's a good start with two cool somewhat "natty" producers. A producer that flies somewhat under the radar, but is available here in NC and should be in SC is Girolamo Russo. He makes a carricante based white as well as a rosato and three reds, one basic and two single vineyard. The wines are subtle, yet powerful and really interesting.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#20 Post by Keith A k e r s » July 14th, 2019, 6:39 pm

Zachary Ross wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 2:16 pm
Calabretta makes terrific wines. The Vigne Vecchie mentioned above is superb.
So much yes for Calabretta. I’ve also been lucky to have some older bottlings and they easily held up at 12+ years.


Matt,

I haven’t had Terre Nere’s Pre-Phylloxera, but I’ve had a good range of their higher end wines and they are a real step up from the Etna Rosso. They can be really expressive and show the capabilities of Nerello imo

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Re: Wines of Etna

#21 Post by Gary York » July 15th, 2019, 9:03 am

Many of the best producers have been mentioned. Some good - great wines from all of them depending on what you like and are looking for in the wines. I spent a few days on Etna a few years ago and really enjoyed exploring the area. I did a dinner with Antonio Benanti two months ago and the wines were all just on point. From top to bottom just about everything you could ask for and needing only some time to round out the edges. Interesting to note they are located on the South/Southeast of side of Etna. And they have more site specific bottles coming. Terre Nere can be a touch polished. But the Santo Spirito, Guardiola and the San Lorenzo are just awesome. It will be interesting to see if the efforts to promote the wines as Premier and Grand Cru work out. I struggle with the Vigne di Eli wines a bit because I frequently find a pine note that I don't like in some of the wines. But a Moganazzi opened about three months ago, before the summer heat turned on, was great. Alice Bonaccorsi/ValCerasa is very good, great value and a touch more rustic for sure. The white carries a bit of oxidation. Passopisciaro is certainly one the top producers and has done a tremendous job of focusing on specific sites and elevations with the Contradi wines. P is my favorite, unless of course it is R. The 97 pt entry level wine did not quite live up to expectations. I still wish I had purchased 5 more cases. It was that good. The Ciro Biondi wines are another I would throw in the mix and when they are on they can be as good any wine from anywhere on Etna. Sure they can be a bit quirky, like Calabretta, Cornellison and the Foti wines, but you are 3,000ft up, on the side of a volcano, in Sicily. So it kind of make sense. Etna, along with Northern Piedmont are some of the most interesting wines in Italy right now.
Last edited by Gary York on July 15th, 2019, 1:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#22 Post by Markus S » July 15th, 2019, 9:32 am

Gary York wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 9:03 am
... The Ciro Biondi wines are another I would throw in the mix and when they are on they can be as good any wine from anywhere on Etna. Sure they can be a bit quirky, ...
I've never found them to be 'quirky', but enjoy them for their red-fruited minerality.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#23 Post by jbray23 » July 15th, 2019, 8:16 pm

Markus S wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 9:32 am
Gary York wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 9:03 am
... The Ciro Biondi wines are another I would throw in the mix and when they are on they can be as good any wine from anywhere on Etna. Sure they can be a bit quirky, ...
I've never found them to be 'quirky', but enjoy them for their red-fruited minerality.
Just visited Etna a couple of months ago...

Ciro himself is quirky, maybe his wines take after
Him... don’t really get the love for Benanti, visited the estate and tasted through the range, the wines were fine but to me a little too clean.

I sell Russo so take this with a grain of salt, the wines are terrific and under the radar, Guiseppe has prime real estate and the wine making is spot on.

My revelation of the trip was Ciro Biondi, his wife and him are the funniest couple with real passion about his land. To me his wines are really pure elegant.

I think one thing that gets lost in the conversation is north vs. south, east and west. As a few examples above, biondi and Benanti are southern vineyards, more elegant and refined and Russo, Tere Nere are both northern wineries with more power and a little fuller style. I came away with a different respect for the styles once I visited.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#24 Post by Mattstolz » July 15th, 2019, 8:19 pm

Gary York wrote:
July 15th, 2019, 9:03 am
Many of the best producers have been mentioned. Some good - great wines from all of them depending on what you like and are looking for in the wines. I spent a few days on Etna a few years ago and really enjoyed exploring the area. I did a dinner with Antonio Benanti two months ago and the wines were all just on point. From top to bottom just about everything you could ask for and needing only some time to round out the edges. Interesting to note they are located on the South/Southeast of side of Etna. And they have more site specific bottles coming. Terre Nere can be a touch polished. But the Santo Spirito, Guardiola and the San Lorenzo are just awesome. It will be interesting to see if the efforts to promote the wines as Premier and Grand Cru work out. I struggle with the Vigne di Eli wines a bit because I frequently find a pine note that I don't like in some of the wines. But a Moganazzi opened about three months ago, before the summer heat turned on, was great. Alice Bonaccorsi/ValCerasa is very good, great value and a touch more rustic for sure. The white carries a bit of oxidation. Passopisciaro is certainly one the top producers and has done a tremendous job of focusing on specific sites and elevations with the Contradi wines. P is my favorite, unless of course it is R. The 97 pt entry level wine did not quite live up to expectations. I still wish I had purchased 5 more cases. It was that good. The Ciro Biondi wines are another I would throw in the mix and when they are on they can be as good any wine from anywhere on Etna. Sure they can be a bit quirky, like Calabretta, Cornellison and the Foti wines, but you are 3,000ft up, on the side of a volcano, in Sicily. So it kind of make sense. Etna, along with Northern Piedmont are some of the most interesting wines in Italy right now.
thanks for this great post. for the Passopisciaro Contrados, how many different bottlings are there? also, in the bolded part of your post, are those all different single vineyards to be on the lookout for?

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Re: Wines of Etna

#25 Post by Gary York » July 16th, 2019, 1:11 am

For the Passopisciaro reds made from Nerello Mascalese they have P, R, S, C, G and Etna Rosso. Mostly focused on different elevations and terroir. Santo Spirito, Guardiola and San Lorenzo are single vineyards from Terre Nerre. Morganazzi is a single vineyard bottled under the label Vigne di eli from Marc de Grazia. He also owns Terre Nere. Alice Bonaccorsi is a different wine/producer.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#26 Post by James Billy » July 16th, 2019, 2:45 am

Who do you think make the best QPR Etna Rossos? The Baudry or Prum of Etna if you like. TIA.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#27 Post by Joe Chanley » July 16th, 2019, 5:03 am

James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 2:45 am
Who do you think make the best QPR Etna Rossos? The Baudry or Prum of Etna if you like. TIA.
Not a profound wine, but the Terre Nere Rosso always scratches the itch, can be found under $20 and is widely available.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#28 Post by Laurent Gibet » July 16th, 2019, 5:18 am

I had an interesting tasting in october 2014 :
http://www.invinoveritastoulouse.fr/ind ... e-l-etna-2

The very best wines were :
Passopisciaro « G » (Guardiola) 2011
Passopisciaro « P » (Porcaria) 2011
Pietradolce « Vigna Barbagalli » 2011

Tenuta delle Terre Nere « Prephylloxera - La Vigna di Don Peppino » 2012
Frank Cornelissen « Munjebel 9 VA » 2012
Passopisciaro « S » (Sciaranuvoa) 2011
Benanti « Pietramarina » 2009 (white wine : carricante)
I Vigneri “Vinujancu“ 2011 (white wine : carricante, Riesling rhénan franc de pieds, Grecanico, Minella)
www.invinoveritastoulouse.fr

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Re: Wines of Etna

#29 Post by James Billy » July 16th, 2019, 6:21 am

Joe Chanley wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 5:03 am
James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 2:45 am
Who do you think make the best QPR Etna Rossos? The Baudry or Prum of Etna if you like. TIA.
Not a profound wine, but the Terre Nere Rosso always scratches the itch, can be found under $20 and is widely available.
Thanks. Do you find it reaches the heights of, say, Prum WS kabinett (not to mention the consistency)?

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Re: Wines of Etna

#30 Post by Laurent Gibet » July 16th, 2019, 7:31 am

Looking backwards to what we had (report by Piere Citerne) :

32. Etna Rosso : Tenuta delle Terre Nere 2013
(95% Nerello Mascalese, 5% Nerello Cappuccio)
A l’ouverture : DS14 - PC14,5 - PR14/14,5 - NH15. Note moyenne AM : 14,6
Fruité immédiat, spontanéité, charme souple et abord facile. Beverino comme on dit en italien...
Après 5 heures d’aération : DS14 - LG14 – MS14 - CDC14 - MF13. Note moyenne SOIR : 13,8

33. Etna Rosso : Tenuta delle Terre Nere « Feudo di Mezzo - Il Quadro delle Rose » 2011
(98% Nerello Mascalese, 2% Nerello Cappuccio)
A l’ouverture : DS13 - PCED - PR13 - NH14,5. Note moyenne AM : (13,5?)
Dense, concentré, mais débordé et durci par une acescence non maîtrisée.
Après 5 heures d’aération : DS13 - LG14 – MS(14) - CDC ED (volatile) - MF(12) . Note moyenne SOIR : (10,6?)

34. Etna Rosso : Tenuta delle Terre Nere « Santo Spirito » 2010
(98% Nerello Mascalese, 2% Nerello Cappuccio)
A l’ouverture : DS13 - PC12 - PR13 - NH14,5. Note moyenne AM : 13,1
Le nez offre un panorama étonnamment évolué, automnal, ou le bois humide ressort, beaucoup de champignon aussi... L'aération amène un peu de fruit frais, mais la bouche demeure de guingois, lactique, sèche.
Après 5 heures d’aération : DS14 - LG14,5 – MS14,5 - CDC14,5 - MF14 . Note moyenne SOIR : 14,3

35. Etna Rosso : Tenuta delle Terre Nere « Guardiola » 2011
(98% Nerello Mascalese, 2% Nerello Cappuccio)
A l’ouverture : DS15,5/16 - PC15,5 - PR16 - NH16. Note moyenne AM : 15,8
Dense dès la robe. Un nez puissant, profond, beaucoup de fruit, de relief floral et épicé ; le vin semble un poil plus mûr que dans la version Passopisciaro de ce terroir - et surtout moins précis. Prestation toutefois fort satisfaisante : belle matière juteuse, profonde, avec des tanins vifs et bien détourés.
Après 5 heures d’aération : DS15 - LG14 – MS15 - CDC15 - MF14,5 . Note moyenne SOIR : 14,7

36. Etna Rosso : Tenuta delle Terre Nere « Calderara Sottana » 2011
(98% Nerello Mascalese, 2% Nerello Cappuccio)
A l’ouverture : DS11?- PCED - PR12 - NHED?. Note moyenne AM : ?
Reflets bruns orangés d'une robe qui semble très évoluée. Le fruit paraît cuit, passé, oxydé. L'alcool ressort. Problème de bouteille ?
Après 5 heures d’aération : DS12? - LG14 – MS(?) - CDC(12) - MF14 . Note moyenne SOIR : ?

37. Etna Rosso : Tenuta delle Terre Nere « Prephylloxera – La Vigna di Don Peppino » 2012
(98% Nerello Mascalese, 2% Nerello Cappuccio)
A l’ouverture : DS16 - PC16/16,5 - PR16,5+ - NH17. Note moyenne AM : 16,6
Robe pleine, assez fournie, la bordure propose déjà des nuances fauves. Fruit disponible et pulpeux, évocation exubérante de fraise écrasée. Très belle matière, ample, pleine, charnue, un peu emporté par la chaleur du millésime mais offrant une grande présence et une profondeur tannique remarquable, qui gomme l'alcool et rafraîchit la bouche.
Après 5 heures d’aération : DS15,5 - LG15,5 – MS15,5/16 - CDC15 - MF15,5 . Note moyenne SOIR : 15,5


It sems quite difficult to compare with Prüm WS or GH Kabinett ...

An excerpt of Pierre's conclusion :
L'existence de « climats » capables de conférer aux vins des caractères affirmés, identitaires, semble en revanche acquise. Très intéressante déclinaison de terroirs chez Passopisciaro : des personnalités tranchées, évidentes, des nuances retranscrites avec précision - remarquable effacement de l'homme devant le raisin, vraie technicité... Porcaria et Guardiola devraient vieillir avec talent, du moins peut-on l'espérer. Les Terre Nere n'ont pas illustré la chose avec autant de brio : trop de vins approximatifs, ou défectueux. Comme quoi on peut faire des vins « avec soufre » aléatoires...
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Re: Wines of Etna

#31 Post by Gary York » July 16th, 2019, 8:02 am

James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 2:45 am
Who do you think make the best QPR Etna Rossos? The Baudry or Prum of Etna if you like. TIA.
Two good choices are the entry level reds from Terre Nere and Benanti. The Terre Nere is bit more polished and round. But offers nice red fruit, light tannin and mostly concealed alc. Both should be readily available and around $20. Or a bit below. I kind of look at them as a Bourgogne Rouge for Etna. I do have concerns about the Etna Rosso being hollowed out as many producers start producing the contrada wines.
ITB

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Re: Wines of Etna

#32 Post by Laurent Gibet » July 16th, 2019, 8:21 am

The last Terre Nere I had was a few weeks ago :
Etna Rosso Tenuta delle Terre Nere Santo Spirito 2013 : 16,5/20
D’emblée, ce vin m’évoque les pentes de l’Etna : cassis soutenu, fraise, acidité bien décidée, goût de lave … Beau caractère.

It should be a good bargain.

The domain considers as premier cru : Feudo di Mezzo, Guardiola, Santo Spririto.
And as grand cru : Calderara Sottana, Boca d'Orzo, San Lorenzo, Prephylloxera.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#33 Post by Mattstolz » July 16th, 2019, 5:45 pm

Gary York wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 1:11 am
For the Passopisciaro reds made from Nerello Mascalese they have P, R, S, C, G and Etna Rosso. Mostly focused on different elevations and terroir. Santo Spirito, Guardiola and San Lorenzo are single vineyards from Terre Nerre. Morganazzi is a single vineyard bottled under the label Vigne di eli from Marc de Grazia. He also owns Terre Nere. Alice Bonaccorsi is a different wine/producer.
thanks for this. also, in your next post you mention everyone's contrada wines... it looks like that basically means "village" in Sicilian... so its kind of like a basic "village" wine as opposed to the more specific sites mentioned above?


I love this site btw. always some great advice and experience to tap into.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#34 Post by James Billy » July 16th, 2019, 10:02 pm

Gary York wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 8:02 am
James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 2:45 am
Who do you think make the best QPR Etna Rossos? The Baudry or Prum of Etna if you like. TIA.
Two good choices are the entry level reds from Terre Nere and Benanti. The Terre Nere is bit more polished and round. But offers nice red fruit, light tannin and mostly concealed alc. Both should be readily available and around $20. Or a bit below. I kind of look at them as a Bourgogne Rouge for Etna. I do have concerns about the Etna Rosso being hollowed out as many producers start producing the contrada wines.
Thanks. How do they compare with Firriato le Sabbie?

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Re: Wines of Etna

#35 Post by Markus S » July 17th, 2019, 4:37 am

Mattstolz wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 5:45 pm
Gary York wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 1:11 am
... also, in your next post you mention everyone's contrada wines... it looks like that basically means "village" in Sicilian... so its kind of like a basic "village" wine as opposed to the more specific sites mentioned above?
Matt, from my understanding, the Etna 'contradas' are former flows from the volcano, which are given names. I don't think they are villages.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#36 Post by Andrew A r n t f i e l d » July 17th, 2019, 1:04 pm

Mattstolz wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 1:12 pm
I forget to mention Terre Nere! I have only ever had the basic Etna Rosso but I really liked it as well. Im curious from both of you, have you had the other bottlings (Sottana, PrePhyloxera, etc) and are they worth the price jump?
100% yes. I've tried most (if not all) of them in various vintages and while I absolutely love the base Etna Rosso, the Calderara Sottana, Santo Spirito, Guardiola, Feudo di Mezzo Il Quadro Delle Rose, and PrePhyloxera are all a big step up with more depth and complexity.

Also: in the past, their Bianco Vigne Niche was a blend of their Calderara and Santo Spirito crus. And it was excellent. But since the 2014 vintage they have begun to produce separate bottlings of the Calderara and Santo Spirito Bianco. In particular, the Bianco Santo Spirito is a gem and well worth seeking out.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#37 Post by Joe W i n o g r a d » July 17th, 2019, 2:18 pm

Thanks to a wise friend, I had my first experience recently with the wines of Vigneti Vecchio, the domain of Carmelo Vecchio who is reportedly a longtime employee at Passopisciaro. The wines are newly imported into the US by KL.

The Sciare Vive (“live flow”) Etna Rosso was elegant and precise. I look forward to having this again.

The two bottles of Sciare Vive white that I had were different from one another so I’m not as sure about this one. One was a golden and maybe a bit oxidized. They other bottle was clearer, savory and the kind of carricante that I enjoy. The KL notes indicate some skin contact so I am not sure what to expect going forward. It wasn’t very evident in the second bottle.

Worth a try.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#38 Post by Mattstolz » July 17th, 2019, 3:54 pm

Andrew A r n t f i e l d wrote:
July 17th, 2019, 1:04 pm
Mattstolz wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 1:12 pm
I forget to mention Terre Nere! I have only ever had the basic Etna Rosso but I really liked it as well. Im curious from both of you, have you had the other bottlings (Sottana, PrePhyloxera, etc) and are they worth the price jump?
100% yes. I've tried most (if not all) of them in various vintages and while I absolutely love the base Etna Rosso, the Calderara Sottana, Santo Spirito, Guardiola, Feudo di Mezzo Il Quadro Delle Rose, and PrePhyloxera are all a big step up with more depth and complexity.

Also: in the past, their Bianco Vigne Niche was a blend of their Calderara and Santo Spirito crus. And it was excellent. But since the 2014 vintage they have begun to produce separate bottlings of the Calderara and Santo Spirito Bianco. In particular, the Bianco Santo Spirito is a gem and well worth seeking out.
perfect. thanks for the encouragement to seek these out. I love the Etna so I'm sure I will feel similarly about the single vineyard bottlings!

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Re: Wines of Etna

#39 Post by James Billy » July 23rd, 2019, 5:04 pm

James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 10:02 pm
Gary York wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 8:02 am
James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 2:45 am
Who do you think make the best QPR Etna Rossos? The Baudry or Prum of Etna if you like. TIA.
Two good choices are the entry level reds from Terre Nere and Benanti. The Terre Nere is bit more polished and round. But offers nice red fruit, light tannin and mostly concealed alc. Both should be readily available and around $20. Or a bit below. I kind of look at them as a Bourgogne Rouge for Etna. I do have concerns about the Etna Rosso being hollowed out as many producers start producing the contrada wines.
Thanks. How do they compare with Firriato le Sabbie?
Sorry to bump, but has anyone any opinions about this wine? TIA.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#40 Post by Gary York » July 25th, 2019, 10:52 pm

James Billy wrote:
July 23rd, 2019, 5:04 pm
James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 10:02 pm
Gary York wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 8:02 am


Two good choices are the entry level reds from Terre Nere and Benanti. The Terre Nere is bit more polished and round. But offers nice red fruit, light tannin and mostly concealed alc. Both should be readily available and around $20. Or a bit below. I kind of look at them as a Bourgogne Rouge for Etna. I do have concerns about the Etna Rosso being hollowed out as many producers start producing the contrada wines.
Thanks. How do they compare with Firriato le Sabbie?
Sorry to bump, but has anyone any opinions about this wine? TIA.
Really sorry, I missed this question. I was prepping for a London trip and then in London. I do not know the producer.
ITB

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Re: Wines of Etna

#41 Post by Ryan Kilkenney » July 26th, 2019, 4:33 am

I was in Eataly yesterday and used this thread as a shopping list. I opened the Graci Etna Rosso with dinner - good stuff. Thanks everyone.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#42 Post by Dennis Borczon » July 26th, 2019, 4:58 am

etomasi wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 9:45 am
Love Etnan wines.

Obviously Terre Nere for lighter style. The contratas age well. I've had a couple with 10+ years. Passopisciaro wines are nice as well, including all the contratas, which are all very different. The Passopisciaro bianco is a bit unusual because its 100% Chardonnay. Some smaller wineries I like are: Vino di Anna (Anna Maartins), and Davide Bentivegna,
+1 on the Terre Nere. Just drank a Calderera Sottana 2015 this week. Awesome with pasta, crunchy red fruit, good but not screechy acid, well balanced package. Has a finish that does not pucker you up. Held off oxidation in the fridge over 4 days extremely well. These wines just kill tuscan sangios at a fraction of the price. I swore to never buy chianti again while I can get wines like these...

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Re: Wines of Etna

#43 Post by James Billy » July 26th, 2019, 5:37 am

Gary York wrote:
July 25th, 2019, 10:52 pm
James Billy wrote:
July 23rd, 2019, 5:04 pm
James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 10:02 pm


Thanks. How do they compare with Firriato le Sabbie?
Sorry to bump, but has anyone any opinions about this wine? TIA.
Really sorry, I missed this question. I was prepping for a London trip and then in London. I do not know the producer.
Appreciate your reply!

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Re: Wines of Etna

#44 Post by John Kight » July 26th, 2019, 6:49 am

Zachary Ross wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 2:16 pm
Calabretta makes terrific wines. The Vigne Vecchie mentioned above is superb.
This is one of my "go to" wines, and rather unique compared to the typical Nerello wines in that they are released late with a fair amount of development to them. (Not sure if that is due to extended barrel aging, or just the bottle age.) Most of these wines (e.g. Passopisciaro) seem intended to show off a clarity of the unique Nerello fruit flavor, whereas the Calabretta is something different, and for me is ultimately more satisfying.

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Re: Wines of Etna

#45 Post by David_K » July 26th, 2019, 7:17 am

Dennis Borczon wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 4:58 am
etomasi wrote:
July 14th, 2019, 9:45 am
Love Etnan wines.

Obviously Terre Nere for lighter style. The contratas age well. I've had a couple with 10+ years. Passopisciaro wines are nice as well, including all the contratas, which are all very different. The Passopisciaro bianco is a bit unusual because its 100% Chardonnay. Some smaller wineries I like are: Vino di Anna (Anna Maartins), and Davide Bentivegna,
+1 on the Terre Nere. Just drank a Calderera Sottana 2015 this week. Awesome with pasta, crunchy red fruit, good but not screechy acid, well balanced package. Has a finish that does not pucker you up. Held off oxidation in the fridge over 4 days extremely well. These wines just kill tuscan sangios at a fraction of the price. I swore to never buy chianti again while I can get wines like these...
I'm not sure I'd go that far, but the Etna wines do scratch the same itch for me as Chianti. I would agree though that the average quality across the board on Etna is higher and more consistent; Chianti, because there is just so much more of it, can really be all over the place with a lot of subpar wines. But the best of both are toe-to-toe IMO.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#46 Post by Bob Hughes » July 26th, 2019, 7:52 am

I actually find Nerello Mascalese more similar in weight/palate presence to Nebbiolo from, say, northern Piemonte (think Carema or Boca) or Lombardy than Sangiovese. And I would certainly question Dennis' comment on relative value - for example, most of the Passopisciaro Contrada wines are over $50 a bottle, and I've yet to buy a Felsina Rancia for that much money.

But I drink a lot of Italian red, and I personally wouldn't replace any of my Sangiovese with either Nebbiolo or Nerello Mascalese (and vice versa, for that matter - diversity in the cellar can be a good thing [cheers.gif] ).

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Re: Wines of Etna

#47 Post by Markus S » July 26th, 2019, 8:09 am

Bob Hughes wrote:
July 26th, 2019, 7:52 am
I actually find Nerello Mascalese more similar in weight/palate presence to Nebbiolo from, say, northern Piemonte (think Carema or Boca) or Lombardy than Sangiovese. And I would certainly question Dennis' comment on relative value - for example, most of the Passopisciaro Contrada wines are over $50 a bottle, and I've yet to buy a Felsina Rancia for that much money.

But I drink a lot of Italian red, and I personally wouldn't replace any of my Sangiovese with either Nebbiolo or Nerello Mascalese (and vice versa, for that matter - diversity in the cellar can be a good thing [cheers.gif] ).
Yes, the relative value is not there, as all quality areas in Italy now $30 up.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#48 Post by Monica Larner » August 17th, 2019, 10:58 am

Another Etna producer that KILLS it, in my opinion, is Fattorie Romeo del Castello. They farm ancient goblet-trained Nerello Mascalese vines and a black wall of lava from the 1981 lateral eruption cuts straight through the vineyard. The crazy thing is that if you dig around the edges of that lava rock, the grapevines buried below are still alive and pushing through. The underground heat generated by that eruption was enough to push the stone farmhouse off its foundations, but those vines and their delicate root systems miraculously survived. They are imported by Louis Dressner in the US.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#49 Post by Andrew Ing » August 17th, 2019, 12:53 pm

I have not had much from this area. I took a case of Baileyana Firepeak Pinot Noir 2016 to a family beach trip this year and thought it was a very solid wine for a $20 pricepoint. My family usually hits the wine pretty hard, so I don't bring expensive bottles.
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Re: Wines of Etna

#50 Post by Michae1 P0wers » August 17th, 2019, 7:30 pm

James Billy wrote:
July 16th, 2019, 2:45 am
Who do you think make the best QPR Etna Rossos? The Baudry or Prum of Etna if you like. TIA.
Slight drift here. I know the topic is Etna, but for pure value Cerasuolo and Frappato should be on your radar. I like Gulfi, COS, and Occhipinti a lot. The Frappatos are brighter, the Nero d’ Avolas are chewier, and the Cerasuolos blend those qualities into what might just be my ideal wine for pizza.

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