~ Trapani Harbor, Sicilia ~

Growing premium wine grapes in Sicily’s often harsh climate can be challenging.   Recent years have seen more producers focusing on growing quality grapes and striving to make delicious wines from many of Sicily’s indigenous varietals.  I’ve spotlighted some of these varietals in the past and continue to do so since Sicily forms part of my ancestral heritage.
Headquartered in Trapani, Firriato is another of these producers and despite being relatively new to wine production, the estate was started in the late 1980’s, they have quickly risen to the top as one of the more prominent producers in the region.  The husband and wife team of Salvatore di Gaetano and Vinizia Novara have made it their mission to produce quality wines from vineyard to cellar:
“Quality and passion. These are the guiding principles for our entire world starting with our land, cultivated with love and skill, through to the wine cellar and relationships with our partners and clients.”

~ Proprietor Vinizia Novara of Firriato ~
The subject of today’s article,  the 2010 Firriato Etna Rosso bears these hallmarks.  The wine is a distinct violet to deep ruby – very dark with bright reflections.  On the nose, the aromas are unmistakable. There’s a subtantial core of red fruits, a touch of stoney ash and some exotic spices.  On the palate, the crushed red fruits are bright and almost savory. Mineral laced, the freshness of the wine is impressive given the heat of the vintage in Sicily. Finely grained tannins appear on the finish as tobacco and Indian spices dance there as well.  This is a unique indigenous blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio sourced from vineyards on the slopes of Etna, near Catania.  The wine is fermented in stainless steel and then aged 6 months in barrique before 2 months refinement in bottle.  Great value here.  89 points, about $12.   

~ In it’s 8th vintage – the Etna Rosso is 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio ~
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