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Deep dark red, with aromas of small red cooked cherries and plums, Mediterranean herbs, pronounced balsamic scents and sweet spices (cinnamon and five spice). It’s fresh in the mouth and mineraly, with pleasing well-integrated tannins and a long finish. The alcohol is high but not noticeable.
With 15 different vineyards in seven different “Contrade” Etnella actually make 7 cru wines at altitudes varying between 500 to 1000 metres above sea level on the northern footslopes of Etna. The vineyards are trained in alberello style, or bush trained, an ancient method traditionally used on Etna, vines being planted on land terraced with dry-stone walls, constructed from the local volcanic stones. The close proximity of the vines (6,000 – 9,000 plants per hectare) creates firce competition and forces the roots to plunge downwards into the volcanic soil in search of water and nutrients. The extreme weather conditions and severe diurnal shifts (an average of 16°C between day and night) result in wines of great phenolic profie, complexity and longevity.
Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio are both indigenous to Etna. Nerello Mascalese is often referred to as the older or more serious sibling with Cappuccio being sidelined a bit. They are a perfect team – both are late-ripening, high in tannic and acid (a requirement for ageing). Mascalese has thicker skins (thus more tannin) and tends toward the darker end of the fruit spectrum while Cappuccino tends to be a little more intensely perfumed and higher in acidity.