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Wine of the Month: Nerello Mascalese
The land of the largest active volcano in Europe is rich in viticulture history but only in recent decades has it appeared in the Italian and international limelight with wines of great personality and elegance.
The renaissance of Etna started in the '80s, with the recovery of centenary historical vines, still on a free trail and cultivated at alberello.
Pruning with low yields and progress in the wine-making techniques, have brought the attention of fans on the quality of wines produced with the local grapes: Carricante, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio.
Although the beauty of the vineyards of Etna alone is worth a trip to Sicily. The landscape is characterized by basaltic rocks, shaped by incandescent lava, black sands, skiing of ancient eruptions, ashes, pumice, broom plants and Mediterranean scrub.
The vines are grown at an altitude between 400 and 1,000 meters above the sea level. The climate is cool, breezy, mitigated by the sea and with strong temperature variations between day and night. A series of ideal conditions for an excellent viticulture capable of giving grapes rich in taste and intense in aromas.
Nerello Mascalese does not have a precise historical location, the beginning of its cultivation is lost in the mists of time. However, recent studies have shown that this autochthonous red grape variety makes its first appearance during the Greek colonization in the 8th century B.C. on the coasts of Calabria, moving then to Naxos and to Catania in 728 B.C. when the Greeks introduced, in the eastern part of Sicily, the cultivation of cuttings and the adoration of Dionysus, god of wine.
At the time there were many Greeks who cultivated the vine in the Eastern part of Sicily and on the slopes of Etna. It is said that the same poet Sappho, banned from his homeland, the island of Lesbos, moved to Sicily to cultivate the grapes.
Only in Roman times, Nerello Mascalese began to spread on the slopes of Etna that, with its volcanic soils and steep slopes, offers the most suitable pedoclimatic conditions for its cultivation.
Even with the fall of the Roman Empire, the various Arab, Normans and Bourbons domination, Nerello Mascalese was never completely abandoned and was handed over to us in all its noble pride.
Valenti - Etna Rosato "Poesia" DOC 2015
Cadmium-colored, presents a fresh aromatic structure of marasca, strawberry and raspberry, the mouth is lively, clean and of great freshness with a long and refreshing finish. Excellent with roasted fish dishes, fried food, with salami in general and pizza.
Category: Dry rose
Location of the vineyard: North-East Etna
Soil type: Lava,
Position: North-East exposure, 750 meters s.l.m.
Grapes: 100% Nerello Mascalese
In the Vineyard: defoliation, green harvest, selection of bunches
In the Winery: Crio-maceration, fermentation at controlled temperature
Aging: In steel for 8 months,in bottle for 4 months
Color: Soft pink
Aroma: Strawberries, citrus
Palate: Dry, mineral
Serving Temperature: 12 ° C
$47.00 (U.P. $59.00)