A few years back I bought a couple of Terre Nere wines from Etna region on Sicily. Over the years I tasted plenty of their wines during several occasions and was pretty much always quite pleased about their entire collection. That might have been a good reason which explains the acquisition of more than just (my) regular amount of bottles. Or maybe it was the seductive phrase on the back label: “Borgogna del Mediterrano”. Who knows? Doesn't matter anyway! Today I would like to start with the entry level red Cru from Terre Nere. The Etna Rosso 2008 was made from younger Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Mantellato (in later vintage this one was substituted by Nerello Cappuccio) vines from the steep volcanic (obviously!) slopes of Mount Etna. The higher qualities are produced from 40 to 140 year old autochtonous vines! What else to know? Aging took place in large French oak and cultivation following organic principles since 2002. Let's check it out:
The Etna Rosso's colour appeared pretty much Borgogna-Pinot-Ruby-Rosso. The vital nose impressed with very lively fragrances of not all too dried dark cherries. Some juiciness was still evident. Besides this fruitful character I got very solid fragrances of young juniper, black pepper, moist clay (?), traces of undergrowth and who would have thought: matches – freshly ignited matches! Concerning the nose - those back lable Borgogna associations faded a bit. The actual scents of the Etna Rosso were overall a bit too ripe and probably far too spicy and maybe even raunchy to mistake them with a Burgundy Pinot Noir. The taste wasn't as wild and earthy as the nasal impressions. There was quite a buttload of intriguingly fruitful succulence in this wine. Still a bit wild and spicy, but brimful with very charming and slightly sweet dark cherry fruit and ripe bramble flavours. It was almost a bit too liqueur'y and warm - not alcoholic! But just – almost! In this case I enjoyed this warm and mellow feature very much. I guess, this had to do with its very well balanced acid structure and its still rather juvenile appearing tannins. There was a sertain drive to those! The finish was surprisingly long, but not as shifty and complex as I would expect it from a grand Pinot di Borgogna. Oh, back to those back label connotations! Well, to me that does not matter at all! First: because this wine has - apart of some structural similarities - not so much to do with Pinot Noir and second: considering its already great quality it'll be very keen to demand more complexity! With a price of 9 Euros it is shockingly reasonable and I can't imagine how to expect more out of this great wine! For sure a very decent ***** experience and compared to other vintages of the Rosso Etna from Terre Nere far more substantial, more concentrated and less thin'ish playful! Maybe the Nerello Mantanello share? I dunno ….!