June 27, 2020
500,000 Years of Volcanic Eruptions, 100+ Year Old Vines, and Ancient Varietals Deliver the Contrada and Grand Cru Vineyards of Sicily! Discover These Organic Wines of Burgundian and Barolo Character. And the Perfect Pizza Wine at $19.99…
“The Etna boasts two reference point producers and a number of emerging growers. Along with Andrea Franchetti, proprietor Marco de Grazia (Tenuta delle Terre Nerre) continues to make compelling wines that set the standard for the Etna.” - Antonio Galloni, Vinous
It is difficult not to be attracted to Italy’s wealth of antique varietals that are capable of transporting enthusiasts to Italy with one stunning sip that begins under $20 a bottle. It is not surprising that the ancient Greeks called Italy Oenotria, “land of vines.” One such vine or grape that would have appealed to them is certainly Sicily’s Nerello Mascalese from the high altitudes and volcanic slopes of Mount Etna. If you follow Italian wines, you probably have heard comparisons of this grape to red Burgundy and a young Barolo. There is some truth to this “Burgundy of the Mediterranean” statement, as many of the expressions are high-toned with inviting red fruit, mineral and herbaceous undertones with firm tannins and bracing acidity.
Well, there’s a new sheriff in town – Angelo GAJA has joined forces with Alberto Graci and more eyeballs than ever are turning on the terroir-driven wines of Mount Etna. However, there are many other producers in the region to explore first, from Sergio’s old standby of Palari to the natural selections from Cornelissen to the more extroverted wines of Vini Franchetti (Passopisciaro). Today, we are turning the spotlight to one of the region’s most respected winemakers, Tenuta delle Terre. This is one of “Etna’s reference points,” for Sicily’s noble Nerello Mascalese.
The pioneering estate led by Marc de Grazia and winemaker Calogero Statell now have a better understanding of the rugged terrain with the Island’s old gnarly vines from these obscene elevations, impenetrable rock, and volcanic soils. While they have created some of the most sought-after cru expressions from these conditions, the excitement begins with their signature cuvee of Nerello Mascalese from the prized vineyards at just $19.99 – the 2018 Terre Nere Etna Rosso. It is IWM’s perfect pizza wine.
Feature: Debut from Sicily’s Prized Estate and Crus (Click to Order)
However, it does not end there, we are including rare bottlings from the Contrada or Grand Cru Vineyards of Sicily and Terre Nere. Each high-altitude vineyard of old vines expresses their own unique character. For the collector, this includes two vintages of the elusive Terre Nere Prephylloxera Vigneto Don Peppino produced from 100% old vine Nerello Mascalese from the crus of Calderara and Santo Spirito that date back to 1870. Just 250 cases are produced with little arriving in the US. However, for IWM, if you really want to fall in love with Sicily’s indigenous and noble Nerello Mascalese, we recommend the industry and staff favorites of Terre Nere Etna Rosso San Lorenzo and Guardiola. The latter is a wine of coiled tension produced from Terre Nere’s highest vineyards at 1,000 meters altitude and will easily satisfy those that appreciate the structure of premier cru Burgundy with Italy’s earthy and red fruit driven profiles. Grab these today, as these wines are extremely limited and allocated!
ADDITIONAL NOTES AND REVIEWS:
2018 Terre Nere Etna Rosso
Christopher Deas, Italian Wine Merchants: “The 2018s provide a lighter and friendlier interpretation – a departure from the more austere expressions of the torrid and challenging 2017 vintage. The Etna Rosso here is a blend from Terre Nere’s top vineyards, and right from the pull of the cork the aromatics scream Italy with explosive red fruit, punch, minerality and wild herbs. On the palate it is a mouthful dripping with wild berries, cranberry, candied fruit, a touch of plum, citrus, and spice with a dry, tannic Nebbiolo-like finish. It is here that with you really experience the influence of the volcanic soil with additional nuances of smoke and tar that marry together with herbaceous undertones. The wine does benefit with aeration. This is Nerello Mascalese (95%) and Nerello Cappuccio (5%) that will transport you to Southern Italy begging for pizza with fatty pork sausage. Huge value-driven crowd pleaser.”
2018 Terre Nere Etna Rosso 'Feudo di Mezzo
Terre Nere holds 1.5ha of the Feudo di Mezzo cru, comprised of 50-80 year old gobelet-trained vines at 600-750 meters on the northern slope of Mt. Etna. The soil here is soft, deep volcanic ash with basaltic pebbles. Of all the crus, it is the usually the first to be ready to drink.
2018 Terre Nere Etna Rosso Guardiola
At 800-1000m on the north side of Mount Etna, the Guardiola cru is one of the highest vineyards in Europe. The vines are almost all pre-phylloxera with the exception of a few which have been individually replanted. Of all crus it is the one requiring more time to release and relax.
2018 Terre Nere Etna Rosso San Lorenzo
The Etna Rosso San Lorenzo is from 4 hectares of vineyards in the same named district in the town of Randazzo. The vines are more than 70 years old and the altitude is 750 meters above sea level, the soil is almost pure volcanic sand. The terroir in contrada San Lorenzo is originated by lava flows and volcanoclastic deposits related to the explosive activity of the the Ellittico eruptive center, which dates back from 60,000 to 15,000 years ago. The wine from this cru is particularly rich, fruity and has very soft tannins, making it velvety and voluptuous on the palate.
2018 Terre Nere Prephylloxera Vigna Don Peppino
In front of the cellar at Terre Nere within the Calderara Sottana vineyards are two parcels that have survived phylloxera. They are over 130 years old and are planted in their original rootstock. Yields are a ridiculously low 4-5 tons per hectare, with a total production of 250 cases. It is a bit shier and will need more time than its younger sibling.
This is an email ONLY offer! If you would like to take advantage of this offer, we are asking that you email orders back to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, connect with your portfolio manager, or mention receipt of this offer if calling the store. All orders are subject to confirmation.
All my best,