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Calabretta Etna Rosso Nerello Mascalese VV 2011 Sample Image Only
Calabretta Etna Rosso Nerello Mascalese VV 2011
Wine Advocate 91
"The vintage of this wine predates the creation of the Sicilia DOC and is therefore listed as an IGT wine. The 2011 Nerello Mascalese is made with fruit from very old vines, ranging from 80 to 100 years old from the Calderara Sottana and Taccione vineyards at 680 and 730 meters in elevation, respectively. A tiny 2% of Nerello Cappuccio is present in this blend from a warm vintage with dry winds blowing  ... read more
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Size: 750mL (wine)
Alcohol by vol: 15%
Closure: Cork
Item ID: #41877
Item Description
Wine Advocate 91
"The vintage of this wine predates the creation of the Sicilia DOC and is therefore listed as an IGT wine. The 2011 Nerello Mascalese is made with fruit from very old vines, ranging from 80 to 100 years old from the Calderara Sottana and Taccione vineyards at 680 and 730 meters in elevation, respectively. A tiny 2% of Nerello Cappuccio is present in this blend from a warm vintage with dry winds blowing up from Africa. The wine shows rich concentration and dense fruit weight (with a 15% alcohol content); however, the quality of fruit is not faded or too evolved. In fact, this wine still has lots of energy and brightness locked within its heavy texture. Some 15,000 bottles were produced, and Calabretta gives us good reason to believe in the long-term prospects of an Etna red."

"Sicily's Mount Etna has an ancient winemaking culture, sharing Barolos tradition of long aging in massive old botti. The resulting delicacy and tarry nuance evoke comparisons not only to Barolo, but to Burgundy. Today, few adhere to Etnas ancient practices. But one great estate, Calabretta, continues to make its majestic reds as in the past, releasing them only after years in their cellar. Calabrettas jewel is its Nerello Mascalese Vigne Vecchie, a gift for lovers of traditionally made Italian reds. The extended aging shows in the wine's velvety texture. It coats your palate without a trace of excess weight, sliding towards an unique convergence of value, character, and age rarely seen in Italy, if not the world."~Distributor Notes
About Calabretta
"The Calabretta wines hail from the DOC of Etna Rosso in North-eastern Sicily. The grapes here are primarily the indigenous Nerello Mascalese with a bit Nerello Cappuccio interplanted. The vineyards are planted between 300 and 900 meters on the slopes of Mount Etna, an active volcano that looms in the distance for much of eastern Sicily. The soils are a combination of black volcanic ash and sand which are fine and almost silty, with lots of lava rocks and good drainage.

When Doug first met Massimiliano Calabretta, a part-time college professor at the University of Genova, his first words were: "I make my wine like Bartolo Mascarello!". Given that most Sicilian wine is made very much in the modern style, Doug was excited to see what a traditional-style wine from this region and varietal would be like! Sure enough, most of the vines are 70-80 years old, with a good portion ungrafted. They are organically farmed. The Etna Rosso is aged for 6-7 years in large Botti before being bottled.

There is an old Nebbiolo-like profile to the wines. The aromas are steeped in dried cherries, tar, licorice, and hints of ashy/volcanic soil tones. Given the high elevation and big diurnal temperature shifts (they have ski slopes on Etna as well!), the wines retain a freshness and delineation that recalls a mature Barolo, northern Rhone or even a sturdier, earthier red Burg. Also, with the provenance and age of the wines, they represent a terrific relative value.

Calabretta also makes about 2,000 bottles a year of a rare white wine made from (mostly) old vine Carricante, interplanted with Minella Bianca (for acidity). It is aged in a combo of tank and neutral wood. This intriguing white is somewhat reminiscent of Pepe's Trebbiano d'Abruzzo, with melony fruit and hints of straw, hay and almonds. According to Massimiliano, Carricante is somewhat tight in its youth and requires a couple of years to express itself, so he holds it back before release. There is ample weight and texture, lovely acidity and a real sense of "grip" (almost tannic) on the palate. As such, it is a perfect wine to pair with all kinds of food!

These are truly unique wines, and worth the introduction to your customers who like pure, soulful, expressive wines from a truly unique terroir!"
Calabretta
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