Wine Special: Etna Rosso, Firriato - Sicilia

This month’s feature brings us a wine that shows one of the best expressions of “terroir” or sense of place. On the island of Sicily in the heart of the city of Catania, we find Mount Etna – the highest and most active volcano in Europe. It has grown over the past 500,000 years and through a series of eruptions, dating as recently as February 2018.

Each year, Mount Etna produces enough lava to fill a 108-story skyscraper and erupts in some form almost daily. This daily activity is what allows the surrounding area to fill with nutrient-rich and ever-changing soil, sparking a huge influx in agriculture over the past decade.

Etna, in comparison to most of Italy, is a fairly new wine producing region. But this is what makes wine from this region so magical. Nerello Mascalese, the main grape produced, is one of the most important indigenous volcanic grapes in the world. It is one of the few varietals that rivals a style similar to a Pinot Noir.

Due to the nutrient rich soil of the area, you will find distinctive notes of smoky volcanic aroma, leather and cinnamon paired with the bright fruity-flower flavors such as ripe cherry and wild strawberry. Firriato’s Etna Rosso is a classical wine that fully expresses its extraordinary terroir with unique sharpness, making for an enjoyable wine.

Grape Variety: Nerello Mascalese & Nerello Cappuccio

Region: Sicily ; Catania – Cavernera Etnea Estate

Color: Bright ruby red color with lively shades of purple.

Nose: Ripe and elegant notes that unfold; distinct hints of blackcurrants, prune jam, black cherries, licorice, pepper and wilted violet.

Palate: Well-balanced and harmonious, it develops with energy and liveliness; it is rich, warm and refined, with suave tannins of extraordinary lineage; lingering aroma; long juicy finish.

Production & Ageing Method: Late October, fermented in stainless steel tanks, aged in Slavonian casks for 12 months before bottling.