Graci Etna Rosso 2018
SPECIAL BUY 6 OR MORE. NEW VINTAGE- 2018! Nerello Mascalese, ripe, crunchy, minerally and spicy.
Alberto Graci’s grandfather used to grow grapes and make wine in central Sicily. In line with the times, he produced quantity over quality. On his death Alberto returned from his life as investment banker in Milan to take over the vinous reins, but in his way. Alberto sold his grandfather’s land, and bought vineyards on Etna thus returning to his Sicilian roots, but on a part of the island where the sun is tempered by altitude – 600+ metres above sea level (m.a.s.l), the soils are volcanic (obviously!), and there are old, ungrafted vineyards. Alberto with his sister Elena farm their vineyards on the north face of Mt Etna, at Arcuria, Passsopisciaro. Fifteen hectares are planted to Nerello Mascalese and 2.5 to Carricante and Catarratto. Part of the vineyard is ungrafted ‘alberello’ (bush vines) at a total density of 10,000 per hectare. Graci also own an 80 year old vineyard (bush trained) in Contrada Feudo di Mezzo, Passopisciaro at 600 metres above sea level (m.a.s.l) In Contrada Barbabecchi at 1000 – 1100 m.a.s.l. Graci own a 1.5 hectare vineyard planted about 100 years ago which is harvested in November!
The most recent Etna eruption occurred in December 2015, and the threat of a serious eruption requires a certain outlook says Alberto “We are fatalists, we don’t care. It’s normal for us”. It is the complexity of the volcanic soils which contributes much to the unique minerality and elegance of the wines of Etna. ‘Etna is a special place,’ says Graci, who today runs the estate with his sister Elena. ‘We only cultivate traditional varieties indigenous to Mount Etna and aim to respect local traditions as well as the distinct characters of each vintage. The land decides, not us. We believe that only by listening carefully and responding to the expressions of Nature in our territory can great wines be born. Great because they are true.’
The fruit is sourced from a vineyard in the sub-zone of Passopisciaro in the Comune of Castiglione di Sicilia. The vines are bushed trained on the north-eastern face of Mt Etna at between 600 and 700 m.a.s.l. at a density of 6,000 to 10,000 vines per Ha.
The wine is fermented in large open top wooden fermenters (tini) with indigenous yeasts and no temperature control, with maceration on skins for 30 days. The wine is matured for 24 months in cement tanks, during which time the malolactic fermentation occurs spontaneously. The wine rests in bottle for two months prior to release. 14% alc.
On the nose some violets and balsamic notes. The palate is all about intensely black forest fruits – perfectly ripe, crunchy, minerally and spicy. The tannins are fine and chalky with good acidity and length.
Brand new release and this is on song! Now under DIAM cork. 14% alc.
92 points, Gary Walsh, The Wine Front for 2017 vintage “Typical volcanic ash character, strawberry, spice, fennel and blood orange, with a rosehip tea perfume. Medium-bodied, fresh and lively, all red fruit with spice and smoky flavour, crisp, rasp of pumice stone tannin, dry and firm on a good long finish. Classic feel, and really good to drink.”
2016 vintage – Winner of Tre Bicchiere in Gambero Rosso 2019, Vini d’Italia – Italy’s leading Top wine guide “It’s difficult to not be influenced by Alberto Graci’s enthusiasm. He’s a vigneron by trade, having abandoned a promising career in economy to pursue his dream. In just a few years he made his wine one of the leaders of the Etna Renaissance. The joint-venture project with Gaja and last year’s acquisitions testify to Alberto’s dynamism. Nevertheless, he continues to enchant us with the elegance of his wines made with grapes cultivated in the vineyards of Arcuria, Feudo di Mezzo and Barbabecchi. This last features century-old ungrafted vines cultivated at more than 1000 metres above sea level. Their two ‘base level’ Etnas, a 2016 Rosso and a 2017 Bianco, put in exceptional performances. The former brought home a gold thanks to its superb array of varietal aromas, from peach to balsamic nuances, which re-emerge elegantly on an extremely plush and persistent palate. The latter earned a place in our finals thanks to a nose of notable finesse, and a linear, nobly pure structure.”
91 Points, 2016 vintage, Huon Hooke, The Real Review, 15 July, 2019 “.. The fruit does the talking, and there’s quite a lot of detail in it’s very savoury, typical Italian red-wine style. Aromas of red fruits, pot-pourri and dried herbs. A hint of cherry eau-de-vie. A good food-wine.”
RRP $51 *SPECIAL PRICE WHEN YOU BUY 6 OR MORE .. $42.99
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