- Appellation: Etna Rosso
- Region: Sicily
- Country: Italy
- Colour: Red
- Grape Varieties: 90% Nerello Mascalese, 10% Nerello Cappuccio
- Soil type: Volcanic Basalt
- Vessel type: Wood - Old oak
- Filtered - Partial Filtration microns.
- Low sulphite.
Notes on additives, aids & processing used:
- No temperature control.
- Total Sulphites: 15 mg/L
- This wine is fermented spontaneously.
- Other Information:Alcohol:14%
Average age of vines: 120-140 years
Made from vines located on the ancient terraces of a north facing clos at 800m altitude above Randazzo. Working organically and tending the vines meticulously, Cesare and Federica bring in a minute yield (averaging 14hh) into their palmento (winery) and after destalking trod the grapes by foot in ancient vats made of volcanic basalt. An open-air fermentation begins, the cap is punched for a few days, then it’s not touched bar keeping the cap moist for the rest of the cuvaison, after which the wine is decanted off into one 300ltr and five 600ltr barrels, with the solids pressed and added, and the wine then remains until bottling after partial filtration 16 months later. These primitive techniques have changed little since vines first appeared in Contrada Pino in the 9th century, and one can imagine this is what the wine might have tasted like back then. It is a profound Etna Rosso, very close to the grapes, richly flavoured with black cherry, balsamic spices, and a fresh-laid-tar suggestion often found in young Barolo but with a lovely acidity keeping everything in focus. Its gripping, yet silty-fine tannin is a trademark of wines from Contrada Pino and there is much more freshness and energy than you find in many Etna Rosso that weigh in at 15% or more.
Federica and Cesare left their life in Catania in 2005 (where she worked as an archery teacher and he as an airline pilot) in search of a simple, peaceful, hard-working lifestyle and purchased this tiny, unique 1.7ha clos planted with 120-140yo vines in the Contrada del Pino.
Located on the slopes of Mount Etna at 800m, uphill from Randazzo, this is the highest altitude at which nerello mascalese and cappucio can reliably and consistently ripen. They also have 400 ancient olive trees (from which they produce three exceptional olive oils from the san benedetto, coratina and brandofino cultivars), chestnut and oak trees, a vegetable garden, sheep, dogs, chicken… Among the vines you also find many fruit trees – cherry, pear, plum, fig, peach, apple. This is Etna in all its pastoral serenity with the sight, scents and sounds of the volcano to stimulate the senses.
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