This varietal Nerello Mascalese was grown on ten- to fifteen-year-old vines in Contrada Sciaranova, on the northeastern slopes of Mount Etna, in a vineyard that lies at 600 meters of elevation. The soils are, naturally, volcanic. The wine aged for a year in 600-liter oak casks before bottling.
It’s clear, light red with aromatics that blend the bright (currants, cranberry, mint) and the dark (wet rocks, black earth). The palate is alive with scintillant acidity and cleansing red fruits; it’s remarkably like red grapefruit in the way that fruit’s juice and pith grate pleasingly against the tongue.
This is a red to pour with poultry, fish, shellfish, and young and medium-aged cheeses, yet it has enough heft to pose a fresh counterpoint to rare and cured meats. It’s a terrific bargain in a well-made Etna Rosso.
2016 Tascante Ghiaia Nera Etna Rosso DOC
13% abv | $21 (sample) Imported by Dalla Terra