Medium Body, Dry (Nerello Mascalese). DOC.
Winery's special selection; limited production.
17+/20 Jancis Robinson ("Cask sample. Pale crimson. Deep cherry fruit nose with a hint of oak. On the palate it combines lightness of touch of raspberry and cherry fruit and a charge of dark, spicy tannins. Embryonic and in need of further ageing. WS").
TASTING NOTES: Classic volcanic nose (mineral, crushed rocks) plus floral notes and a warmth that takes you straight to the black soil of Etna; some small hint of cacao on the nose; bright wine with pleasant tannins (softer than the Archineri* and Rampante); lovely long finish.
Like the 'classic line' Etna Rosso this wine shows some cherry and berry reminiscent of Sangiovese, plus more earthy notes like a Pinot Nero and some floral character that makes you think of Nebbiolo wines.
"A model small estate making top-level authentically regional wines from mostly old vines, including several pre-phylloxera parcels" begins the write-up by Master Sommelier John Szabo in his fabulous 2016 book "Volcanic Wines - Salt, Grit and Power".
The passage continues "Michele Faro's grandfather grew grapes and made wine on Etna, and some of the oldest parcels were in family hands, so he got off to a running start in 2005. Vineyards are on the north side, all above 600m: tiny Barbagalli with gnarled centenary bush-trained Nerello Mascalese is the highest and most precious, yielding succulent, spectacularly balanced wines, with endless finish. Cru Archineri is nearly as impressive, also from old vines planted a few metres below Barbagalli. Steely, flinty-mineral Archineri Bianco is from 10-year-old+ Carricante near Milo on Erna's east side. Infinitely drinkable Etna Rosso from younger albarello-trained vines is well proportioned with delicate red fruit. Purpose-made Etna Rosato from 40-year-old trellised vines rounds out the superb range."
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