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Best tastings of Etna Wines in Sicily at the “Contrade dell’Etna 2014”

febbraio 12, 2012

le contrade dell'etna 2014 homeby Luigi Salvo    articolo in italiano
Seventh edition of the “Contrade dell’Etna”, great opportunity for an overall tasting of Etna wines of all typologies, sparkling, whites, rosé and reds. Wines from all different volcanic territories, from this year’s production as well as earlier vintages. The overview of these wines in evolution reveals a constant enhancing upgrade.

“Le Contrade” always an interesting focus, has changed considerably since its first edition in 2008. In that year the participating wineries were only thirty-eight while this year the presences have reached more than eighty. The first edition that took place in Andrea Franchetti’s winery in Passopisciaro hosted little more that three hundred insiders. Year after year the presences have now reached more than two thousand at the new location of Alberto Graci’s winery.

The different typologies of the great quantity of different wines have improved quality-wise. Most wines of top level represent this unique territory while others, qualitatively good, deverge slightly.

In the last years Etna wines have increased in quantity but most important in quality. These wines are of great appeal and I consider them as “wines from an island in the island”.

Thirty great tastings among the various labels:

selva concetta rosè contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

Beside considering the classics of Etna’s sparkling wines, I enjoyed two labels from the Selva Concetta Winery, both the Brut and the Rosè are made with nerello mascalese grape variety. Fresh and deep both in the nose and on the palate.

la contea classe 39 bianco contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

Within white wines an interesting new entry the Classe 39 ’13 La Contea. A blend of nerello mascalese 90% and nerello cappuccio 10%, off-the-skin vinification. Notes of white peach and mint in the nose, fresh and embracing sip.

Great expression the Planeta Etna Bianco ’13,  very particular in the nose with intense notes of orange blossom and pippin apple. Great balance between acidity and sapidity in the mouth.

filippo grasso anemos bianco contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

The new Anemos ’12 Etna Bianco of Filippo Grasso aims towards simplicity of the fruit and sip lightness. Very enjoyable.

Millemetri Etna Bianco ’12 Feudo Cavaliere can be recognized by olfactorial floral richness, fresh white fruit, citrus and hazelnut and mouth-filling sip.

Etna Bianco Archineri ’12  of Pietradolce characterised by body and structure is a great mix of floral and yellow pulp fruit, vegetal sensations and mineral hints, mouth-filling and sinous.

tenuta di fessina musmeci contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

Tenuta di Fessina after the enhancing carricante,’a Puddara, suggests the Musmeci Etna Bianco ’12  well-bodied and structured, minerality and citrus hints in a long taste finish.

Etna Bianco Salisire’12 by Vivera is always a glass of great tasting, intense and rich nose, affirmed palate with fresh notes of white peach and spiced minerality.

Etna Bianco ’12 Monte Gorna convicing with candied citron recall, grapefruit and white flowers. Intense after-taste.

benanti pietramarina  contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

Etna Bianco Superiore Pietramarina ’10 by Benanti a veri intriguing shimmering nose,  broom- floral blaze, yellow peach and apricot fruitness, balsamic and menthol. Prolongued freshness and intensly flavored palate.

Etna Bianco Ante ’10 Custodi delle Vigne dell’Etna offers great scents of yellow pulp fruit and menthol notes. Distinct palate fresh long and sapid.

Special note for the new no-sulphite Ciuri di Luna di Valenti made by grecanico grape variety with fine balsamic notes, citrus and spices.

primaterra rosato contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

Among the rosé wines Etna Prima Rosa Prima Terra ’13 releases elegant rose, cherry and currant aromas, mineral hints and a sip that lures for another.

Intriguing rosé the De Aetna ’13 by Costantino monovarietal nerello mascalese, strawberry and rasberry candy, spices and carnation, sharp and sapid sip.

passopisciaro contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

The 5 Crus of Andrea Franchetti and the Passopisciaro are indicative of the 2013 vintage of the volcanoe red wines. Among these the one I prefer at the moment is the Rampante with its elegant and fresh intensiveness both olfactorial and palate. Very enjoyable the Guardiola rich in spiciness, the Chiappemacine is a sharp blade, the Sciaranuova, besides its great freshness shows great body, the Porcaria is the longest in concentration.
My last taste of this category is Passopisciaro, a union of wines from different contradas, which inevitably shows greater balance.

The Etna Rosso ’13 Tenuta delle Terre Nere is an explosion of fruit and spices on the nose and in the mouth although very young, fulfilling.

falcone aitho contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

Interestind debut for Etna ’12 Aitho di Falcone, the nose enhanced by freshly-picked wild rose femininity, cherry and plum notes, mineral hints, fresh and tannin sip.

The Munjibel ’12 by Frank Cornelissen is an assembly of different vines. The glass releases aromas of great spicy fruit, powerful and long taste.

fattorie romeo del castello allegracore contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

A different expression of Etna wines is the Allegracore ’12 Fattorie Romeo del Castello, a finer wine that implies thinness and elegance to the nose and a long fruit sapid aftertaste.

The Cirneco ’12 by Terrazze dell’Etna has fruity aroma added to herbs,  sea saltiness and fumé hints, lively and tannic palate.

Great wine the Etna ’12 by Irene Badalà, very pleasant on the nose with notes of violet, fresh blueberries and good spiciness. Peppered mouth with sapid strength.

graci arcuria contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

Etna ‘13 Arcuria by Graci perfuses youthly sensations of violet and rose, red cherry and mulberry, vegetal nuances and intriguing tasting notes. The 2012 vintage is well-poised with scents of wild blackberry, currant, liquorice and cinnamon that persist with a long lasting finish.

Feudo di Mezzo ’12 Girolamo Russo is a floral pinwheel of lavander, isteria, cherry and earthy hints. Intense palate with great tannins and final flower and fruit returns.

biondi contrada san nicolo contrade dell'etna giornalevinocibo

Etna Contrada San Nicolò ’12 Biondi a mix of power and elegance. Aroma of red roses and sour cherry fruitiness, cinnamon. Intense fruity and spicy sip.

A great expression of nerello the Tascante’10 Tasca d’Almerita, lively aromas of cherry and blueberries, notes of citrus and dark spices, succullent and appealing on the palate added to deep sapidity.

Musmesi ’10 Tenuta di Fessina releases red roses, blackberries, aromatic herbs and delicate spices. Rich in the mouth with precise fresh fruity returns characterised by warmth, tannins and mineral notes.

Elegant as ever Etna Rosso N’Anticchia ’10 by Paolo Carciogna’s Tenuta Aglea, delicate nose of rose petals, lively fruit, spices, cinchona and liquorice. Lava minerality and pepper on the palate followed by great fresh final.

Etna Rovitello ’10 Benanti releases wild rose, fresh red fruits, balsamic mentholated notes, thick tannins in the mouth, warm and fruity freshness extend the pleasant sip.

Translation by Maria Lina Bommarito

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