The wine world is abuzz with adoration and renewed interest in Sicily. Etna, especially, has garnered intense interest, and producers are varied as the polarizing Franck Cornelisson and his Munjebel wines to our featured producer, Graci, a traditionalist with a soft touch. There is a uniting theme though, in their obvious affection for local variety Nerello Mascalese.
Nerello is a descendant of Sangiovese, and has a unique ability to dig its roots deep into the poor volcanic soils in which it is planted. Mount Etna is still dangerously active, so much so that on the evening of March 6th 2013 (a week prior to the writing of this post) lava plumes were seen fountaining into the night sky. Where is Instagram when you need it most?
Alberto Graci farms about 18 ha of vines and the Nerello Mascalese that makes up the Quota 600 Cuvee is a high-altitude, un-grafted plot of old vines from the time of his Grandfather. Older vines produce lower yields, and typically the resulting wines have added depth, complexity and concentration, and Graci’s is not an exception.
2009 Graci Etna Rosso ‘Quota 600’. Sicily, Italy-$48.99