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Once upon a time, not so long ago, Nerello Mascalese was an outcast. Shunned from tables, looked down upon by sommeliers, the indigenous Sicilian grape was at best ignored, along with the island where it was produced, or at worst associated with a sea of bad wine. Over the past decade, however, the ugly duckling has emerged as a swan: Adored in wine bars, the darling of dinner parties.
One of the island’s indigenous grapes, Nerello Mascalese is at its best in this Etna Rosso. Beautifully balanced, rustic and elegant – the versatility of this wine encapsulates the fervour that surrounds Etna’s boutique producers. Introduce yourself to Sicilian wine, and believe the hype.
Fruit comes from the Terra Costantino estate’s carefully tended Certified Organic vineyard on the southeast slope of Mount Etna. Grapes are harvested by hand, and wine ages in stainless steel and large oak casks prior to bottling.
“The 2020 Etna Rosso DeAetna is woodsy, with smoky crushed stone, savoury herbs and bright cherry forming its inviting bouquet. This is juicy upon entry, with a buzzing of acid-driven tension and ripe red berries that cascade under rosy inner florals. There’s a subtle coating of tannin that remains, yet it fails to slow the 2020’s momentum, as it finishes with a flourish of liquorice and sweet tobacco. This formidable, “entry-level” Etna Rosso aims to please.”
91 points, Eric Guido, vinous.com, June 2022