2014 Aeris Etna Bianco Superiore - DRINK UP!

My second of 4 bottles of the 2014 Aeris Etna Bianco Superiore and the second bottle that is advanced. It is barely drinkable.
I can see why Kevin and Jeff withdrew the 2015 release and went right to the 2016. If the 2015 is anything like the 2014, which they intimated, it would have been a disaster.
I know there are some good bottles of the 2014 lurking out there somewhere and I can only hope at least one of my remaining two bottles fits that description. What a shame.

Things that make you go hmmmm…
No experience with the Aeris/Rhys project, but carricante can be long-lived.

That’s a little disappointing at $59 a pop!

Was this by any chance a low-sulfur wine? Some of Gulfi’s Etna Carjcanti (aka carricante) in the early 2000s oxidized very prematurely. As I recall, that was due to low/no sulfur.

I drank my last bottle last fall and it was the best of the four I bought. Only one out of the four (the second opened) disappointed.

We had our third of four bottles recently, and it was terrific.

Scott/Peter - Glad you have had some good experiences with the 2014 Aeris Etna Bianco Superiore.
As I mentioned, there are some good bottles out there. When Kevin Harvery posted on the release of the 2016 (and the fact that they were not releasing the 2015) I seem to remember him writing that after tasting through the 2015’s his fear was that they were heading down the same path as the 2014’s. Meaning bottles that were highly variable with some tasting far too advanced. I also remember him writing that they were confident that the changes that they made with the 2016’s would remove the problem that they had with the 2 earlier vintages.
As Marcus mentioned Carricante can be long-lived.

Yeah, I still have a couple of these, but those I opened, though not off, were quite overwhelming. Pretty expensive experiment on this consumer.

I’ve had one and it was enjoyable, no issues.

John, Salvo Foti uses low sulfur in the cellar. According to Kevin, they have asked him to increase use on Aeris starting with 2016 (at least that’s my recollection).


I wonder if there was a shipping issue due to the low sulfur (per Al). The good bottles here seem to have been consumed mostly on the West Coast. Were yours shipped from Rhys in California?

I was told that the oxidation problems with the Gulfi wines were much worse with shipments to Japan than with the US lots.

I think Rhys decided to pull the 2015 vintage based on tasting bottles from their cellar. Also, they would have been shipped from Sicily, although maybe in a reefer.


Interesting. @George Chadwick hosted an offline last year where we tasted through a bunch of Ciracantes. We tasted bottles from current release to over 10 years old from the same vineyard/producer that Rhys later acquired and those older bottles were all spot on. There were also Rhys bottlings and some other producers/vineyards in the mix. None of the wines tasted were showing any advanced aging. One in particular I think a 2004 was my WOTN. There is a thread on this tasting somewhere in wine talk if someone wants to spend time searching.



What I was postulating (not very clearly) was that bottles might have suffered from being shipped from Rhys in California to Jeff in New York, even if they’d been shipped under temperature control from Sicily to Rhys (which I would assume they were). If there some issues even in California, I’d guess an addition trip wouldn’t have done the wine any favors.

No additional favors, just pointing out that experiences on West Coast were also variable (for local customers as well as the winery).


Disappointing to hear these stories. I bought two bottles and had one last summer, it was really superb. I should dig my other one out of storage and open it soon, I guess. Hopefully my luck holds out.

I have drank 3 out of 4 bottles and they have been very good. I drank the third tonight and although it has evolved from the first two bottles it was was still fresh. Nose of honeysuckle and subtle taste of honey and tropical fruits with plenty of acidity.

Sean the reason why I organized that tasting dinner was so that we could taste my remaining bottle of 2014 blind. That was because I brought my first bottle to a party and four or five experienced people found it flat fat and dull, and definitely not corked or tight. Similar to the 2008 Dom we had a week ago. I bought and brought several carricantes to try blind with the second 2014 and it was young and disjointed but clearly excellent and completely unlike the first bottle. At that point no one had reported anywhere a problem with their 2014. We have since learned mine was not the only off bottle.

And yes, the much older carricante from that vineyard, tasted blind, was incredible. One of the greatest white wines I’ve had.

As for the title of this thread, no. This is not a premox issue. I served that first 2014 as soon as it arrived. Cooked would explain everything but I think Kevin said no. If you have a good bottle of the 2014 hold it for at least five years. Actually hold all the Rhys Carricantes you have for ten years minimum. With time they won’t be “better,” they will be on a different planet, if you ever sailed in rough conditions or like stories of ships battling the waves you’ll see what I mean. When you open the wine too young for the Marine character to have emerged, you blew it.

Has Kevin or anyone else explained why they thought they were experiencing that much bottle variation? Really curious to hear from a winemaking standpoint.


Ships & waves? Signs and cosigns?

Yes. An excerpt from one of Kevin Harvey’s posts on the decision to pull the 2015…

To clarify, The 2014 and 2015 Aeris Etna Bianco Superiores were bottled with lower sulphur levels than our standard. Most of the bottles are fine but there is more variation than we would like. If anyone is unhappy with their 2014 Aeris Etna Bianco Superiore, please let us know as we are happy to refund or replace those bottles.