GRAPES: 100% Nerello Mascalese.
APPELLATION: Etna Rosso DOP.
The 2017 Etna Rosso is almost all Nerello Mascalese with a small 10% part of Nerello Cappuccio that makes for an ideal blending partner. This was a scorching-hot vintage, but Gaia Gaja and Alberto Graci tell me that compact basalt rocky soils make for a unique situation in which vine root systems can find ample humidity underground despite dry and sun-drenched soil at the top level. Dig just under the surface, Gaia Gaja tells me, and the soils are cool and moist. This expression is powerful and bold, with dark fruit and dried cherry followed by crushed white pepper (a result of the Nerello Cappuccio) and lots of resiny spice. The tannins are soft and yielding, and there are subtle waves of hot-vintage aromas that appear mostly as scorched earth and black volcanic stone - Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, July 2021 Week 3.