September 27, 2013 – Terre Nere Tasting, Vintages, Belmont, MA
Thank you to Vintages for arranging this event. The Terre Nere wines are always reliable expressions of Etna's terroir, and they are easy to like because they are accessible early on, without compromising their quality or depth.
I was particularly impressed with the Rosato, which I had not had since the 2008 vintage. This is a very serious Rosé, with the potential to last for a few years - and a nice value for $20. While it has contained a smidgen of Nerello Cappuccio in the past, that is no longer the case.
(Admittedly, my favorite of their four crus is the Feudo di Mezzo Il Quadro della Rose, which was not available to try here. )
2012 Etna DOC Bianco
A field blend of 60% Carricante, 25% Catarratto, 10% Grecanico, and 5% Minnella. Full-bodied, ripe, moderately acidic, with white fruit, citrus, mineral, and lightly herbal notes. Very good.
2011 Etna DOC Bianco “Vigne Niche”
100% Carricante from several tiny parcels. Full-bodied, smoky, mineral, with citrus and yellow fruit notes; lightly honeyed, with a bit of baking spice. Very good.
2012 Etna DOC Rosato
100% Nerello Mascalese. Moderately full-bodied, more structured for a Rosé; with watermelon and plum flavors; lightly floral/mineral, with some spice. Has some real depth. Excellent.
2011 Etna DOC Rosso Santo Spirito
98% Nerello Mascalese/2% Nerello Cappuccio. Moderately full-bodied, tightly structured, elegant, with smooth tannins; shows dark berry, cherry, earth, mint, and tar notes. Very good/excellent.
2011 Etna DOC Rosso Guardiola
98% Nerello Mascalese/2% Nerello Cappuccio. A bit fuller than the Santo Spirito; smooth, lightly chewy, with cherry, licorice, floral, spice, and tar notes. Very good/excellent.