Tenuta Delle Terre Nere

"Proprietor Marc de Grazia is one of the pioneers of the Etna. Not only was he among the first producers to recognize the value of these once-forgotten, ancient terroirs, he also was the first producer to bring attention to the specific qualities of these vineyards by bottling single-parcel Nerellos that have become reference-point wines for the Etna." – Wine Advocate

"Terre Nere's wines all possessed unbelievable freshness and complexity as well as huge perfumes that suggested Pinot Noir...These wines are astonishingly complex and ethereal efforts from the hillsides of Mt. Etna in Sicily." – Robert Parker

The Terre Nere estate has roughly 20-21 hectares, of which 15 are planted to vines. Roughly 4.5 of these have been uprooted and will be replanted within two years after letting the soil "rest". Two vineyards, for a total of roughly 11-12 hectares, make up the Calderara Cru, of which 1.5 hectares are pre-phylloxera; the rest are about 40-50 years old (and they have not been uprooted). Two different vineyards comprise the Guardiola Cru, for a total of 2.1 hectares, almost all of which is pre-phylloxera (except for some replanted vines). The Guardiola vineyards are the highest-altitude red-grape vineyards in Europe! The "Feudo di Mezzo" Cru is made up of two other vineyards, for a total of 1.35 hectares.

500,000 years of volcanic eruptions have created endless soil variation in neighboring plots of land, many of them radical. The soil at Terre Nere is mostly volcanic ash speckled by black pumice and peppered with abundant volcanic rock; to call it 'rocky' is putting it mildly! The weather variations in the area are profound and generally characterized by exposure, altitude, and 'airiness,' defined here as the character of a well-exposed vineyard not protected by hills, and therefore open to the cooling and drying effects of the wind. This is particularly important at Terre Nere because the harvest usually takes place in the last weeks of October, meaning that the grapes are in their most fragile state when the weather 'breaks' its autumn pattern, making them susceptible to oidium and mildew. The 'airiness' of the climate, however, helps to dry out the grapes after rain and moisture threaten mold.

Above all else, the extraordinary elevation yields dramatic temperature variations between night and day, making the wines of Etna fine and elegant, devoid of the heat and overripe flavors that usually define southern wines. In fact, most people who have tasted these wines, particularly the 2004s, say they find them most akin to Burgundies or Barolos.

Production is simple, classic, and Burgundian in style: the grapes are grown organically, using only bordelaise mixture and organic fertilization – mostly dung. Vinification follows the same lead: maceration-fermentation lasts 10-15 days, followed by malolactic fermentation and aging in oak – 25% new – and bottling around 18 months later.

The 2004 vintage marks the real birth of Tenuta delle Terre Nere, because for the first time the estate is self sufficient, and the grapes produced were vinified at the estate's new cellars. The wines are astounding. The '02 and '03s have been likened to Pinot and Nebbiolo, as being Burgundian or Langhe-esque. Now there's no doubt about it. The old vines cuvees are difficult to distinguish from very fine Burgundy! With their subtlety and generosity, the wines manage to be rich and precise at the same time.

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Terre Nere 'Feudo di Mezzo' Nerello Masclases 2016
94  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 94 "Beautifully fragrant, this exudes notes of lavender and thyme, with Turkish spice hints accenting the flavors of macerated cherry and raspberry fruit that swath the firm frame of dense, fine tannins. Tightly meshed and focused, with additional spice and herb notes on the long,
Item Number: 30841

Terre Nere 'San Lorenzo' Nerello Mascalese 2016
Wine Spectator 95 #9 Top 100  "Ripe black cherry and raspberry fruit meets tarry mineral and accents of licorice, spiced orange peel and herb in this chewy, medium-bodied red. The bold flavor and structure are deftly knit into a graceful and harmonious package, with the spice and mineral character
Item Number: 30413

Terre Nere 'Etna Rosato' Nerello Masclases 2017
91  James Suckling 
Vinous Media 91 "Pale onion-peel pink. Delicately fruity and floral aromas of jasmine, honyesuckle, redcurrant, gooseberry and minerals. Bright and crisp, this is a paragon of balance and delicacy. Lovely stuff. 100% Nerello Mascalese. -- Ian D'Agata"  James Suckling 91 "This is always a top
Item Number: 29201
Case: $203.40

Terre Nere 'Etna Bianco' Carricante 2017
92  James Suckling 
James Suckling 92 "Aromas of cream, cooked apples and pears follow through to a full body, creamy texture and a bitter-lemon and lemon-curd aftertaste. Drink or hold. Publish Date: Monday, October 22, 2018"  The Wine 60% Carricante, 25% Catarratto, 10% Grecanico, 5% Minnella from vineyards
Item Number: 28940
Case: $203.40

Terre Nere 'Prephylloxera' Etna Rosso 2016
98  James Suckling 
James Suckling 98 "Intense orange-peel aromas highlight the ripe-fruit and smoked-meat character. Full-bodied with round and chewy tannins and an intense, flavorful finish. Focused and driven. Needs time to soften. Better in 2020. Publish Date: Monday, October 22, 2018"  Wine Spectator 95 "This
Item Number: 28809

Terre Nere 'Etna Rosso' Nerello Masclese 2016
93  Wine Enthusiast 
Wine Enthusiast 93 Cellar Selection "Star anise, violet, crushed herb and Mediterranean brush aromas align with a whiff of crushed stone. It's silky smooth, offering juicy raspberry, wild strawberry, dark spice and white pepper framed in lithe, polished tannins. Fresh acidity lends balance while a
Item Number: 27592

Terre Nere 'Santo Spirito' Nerello Masclases 2016
92  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 92 "A graceful red, this is defined by fine-grained tannins and a current of spicy mineral that ripples under the crushed raspberry, dried mint, rose, citrus and graphite flavors. Fresh and lively. Drink now through 2028. 400 cases made. –AN"  The two vineyards in Santo Spirito

Terre Nere 'Guardiola' Nerello Masclese 2016
93  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 93 "An up-front waft of tarry mineral leads to delicate aromas and flavors of dried thyme, orange peel and spice box, featuring ripe strawberry and cherry fruit midpalate. Medium-bodied, this is fresh and focused, with fine tannins firming the lasting finish. Should age nicely in the

Terre Nere 'Calderara Sottana' Etna Bianco 2016
90  Wine Spectator 
Wine Spectator 90 "A broad, medium-bodied white that expands on the palate with flavors of pear and peach skin, hazelnut and lemon parfait, while well-cut acidity and a spicy mineral note focus this through to the lasting finish. Drink now through 2023. 750 cases made. –AN"  About As opposed to

Terre Nere 'Feudo di Mezzo' Nerello Masclases 2015
94  Wine Spectator 
Wine Enthusiast 95 # 27 Cellar Selection 2018 "Scorched earth, flint, grilled herb and red berry aromas follow over to the palate along with ripe cherry, raspberry compote and baking spice. Tight fine-grained tannins provide the framework while a licorice note lingers on the finish. Drink

Terre Nere 'Santo Spirito' Nerello Masclases 2015
93  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 93 "Bright red. Very perfumed nose of red cherry, raspberry jam, cinnamon, nutmeg and minerals complicated by tar and shoe polish. Clean, fresh and juicy, but with a sultry quality to the mineral but also ripe red berry and cherry flavors. Clean and fresh on the long, stoney finish. A

Terre Nere 'Etna Bianco' Carricante 2016
The Wine 60% Carricante, 25% Catarratto, 10% Grecanico, 5% Minnella from vineyards located on the northern slopes of the Etna volcano at 600-900 meters above seal level. After harvest at the beginning of October, the grapes go through a soft pressing and low temperature fermentation in stainless

Terre Nere 'Etna Rosato' Nerello Masclases 2016
93  Vinous Media 
Vinous Media 93 "Copper-tinged pale pink. Enticing nose and flavors of fresh red berries, botanical herbs, sweet spices, aromatic oils and woodsy spices. Sneaky concentration and size with wonderful sugar-acid balance and a welcome saline twist. Best rosato from Terre Nere in years.”"  The Wine

Terre Nere 'Calderara Sottana' Etna Bianco 2015
92  Vinous Media 
Wine Adovcate 93 "This is a spectacular expression of Carricante, and I'd be very curious to try the wine again in five year's time when it is further down its evolutionary track. The 2015 Etna Bianco Calderara Sottana is a beautiful and generous expression from the most exciting up-and-coming

Terre Nere 'Etna Rosso' Nerello Masclese 2015
95  James Suckling 
James Suckling 95 "Red cherries and wild strawberries predominate on this perfumed nose as well as slate, fruit tea, dust and charcoal, not mention elderberries and blueberries. Plenty of bright fruit on the full-bodied palate as well as fine tannins, fresh acidity and a medium chewy finish. So

Terre Nere 'Calderara Sottana' Etna Rosso 2013
93  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 91-93 "The 2013 Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana shows a different personality compared to Tenuta delle Terre Nere's other single-vineyard expressions. Calderara Sottana offers more balsamic definition with wild fennel, rosemary spring, dark fruit and scorched earth. To my palate, it is

Terre Nere 'Santo Spirito' Nerello Masclases 2013
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 92-94 "The 2013 Etna Rosso Santo Spirito is an abundant and enriched expression from the darkened volcanic slopes of Mt. Etna Santo Spirito runs through parts of Passopisciaro at the heart of Etna's best production zones. This gorgeous wine opens to a dark garnet appearance with

Terre Nere 'Le Vigne Niche' Calderara Sottana Etna Bianco
93  James Suckling 
James Suckling 93 "A dense, flavorful white with lemon curd, sliced apple, hints of minerals and a stone undertone. Full-bodied, fruity and flavorful. Excellent acidity, giving it tension and length. Soulful white. Drink or hold."  Wine Spectator 91 "Almond, saline, white peach and kumquat notes

Terre Nere 'Etna Rosso' Nerello Masclese 2014
93  James Suckling 
James Suckling 93 "This is a structured, rich wine with loads of polished tannins. Salt and pepper. Full body with firm, chewy tannins. A blend from top vineyards. Drink now"  Wine Spectator 90 "A perfumed, light- to medium-bodied red, with crushed raspberry, mineral and spice flavors. Light

Terre Nere 'Le Vigne Niche' Etna Bianco 2014
95  James Suckling 
James Suckling 95 "A round, creamy white with dried lemon, mineral, stone and apple skin. Full-bodied and very flavorful and bright. Grand cru stuff here. Greatest white ever from Etna? Better in 2016."  Wine Information: As opposed to my other Etna Bianco, which is a field blend of five

Terre Nere Brunello di Montalcino 2010
95  James Suckling 
James Suckling 95 "What an aroma to this red with so much dried-orange-peel and tangerine character. Flowers, too. Full body, fine, chewy tannins and a structured finish. Ashy texture. A contrasting, lively wine. This is tannic for the vintage and needs time to soften. Will come together

Terre Nere 'Prephylloxera' Etna Rosso 2013
In front and to the right of our cellar in Calderara Sottana there are two parcels, in the midst of a larger vineyard that have survived phylloxera. They, therefore, are over 130 years old and stand on their original rootstock. In 2006 I decided to vinify the grapes from those parcels separately.

Terre Nere 'Calderara Sottana' Nerello Masclases 2011
94  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 94 "The 2011 Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana is light in color but masculine in personality. It-s a tight, nervous wine that needs more time to evolve in the cellar. Pretty fruit tones of wild berry and cassis set the stage, leaving ample room for nuanced mineral expressions. The tannins

Terre Nere 'Guardiola' Nerello Masclases 2011
96  Wine Advocate 
Wine Advocate 96 - ML "The 2011 Etna Rosso Guardiola is among my favorite expressions from this estate. Guardiola is one of Marco-s highest and steepest vineyards and fruit harvested here picks up beautiful balsam and floral overtones. The wine also sports a darker, thicker consistency and a

Terre Nere 'Guardiola' Nerello Masclese 2012
95  James Suckling 
James Suckling 95 "A chewy and rich red with plum, berry, citrus and mineral character. Full body, rich tannins and a fruity finish. This is layered and beautiful. Drink or hold. - jamesuckling.com (October 2014)"  " The Guardiola Cru is comprised of 2 vineyards planted to 100% Nerello Mascalese,