~ Tenute delle Terre Nere ~

Today we’re continuing with our series devoted to wines of Sicily;  which represents a large portion of my ancestral home.

Founded in 2002 by importer turned vintner Marco De Grazia,  Tenuta Delle Terre Nere – which loosely transalates as “Estate of the Black Land” – in direct homage to the tint of the soil provided by Mount Etna,   produces some of the most compelling wines from the Etna Rosso DOC.
The vineyards lie at various elevations, near the tiny town of Randazzo. In some of the vineyards, the volcanic rocks are so pervasive that they obscure the fertile soil beneath from view. Treatment of the vines and vineyards has been completely organic from the beginning, but was certified as such from 2010. Only organic fertilizer is used and sustainability is enhanced further by the employment of “green manure” techniques including the planting of cover crops suchs as legumes, lentils and chick peas that are then folded into the earth.

~ The estate’s vineyards are spread among various climatic conditions and soil types. Here we see the Calderara Sottana Vineyard which is covered by volcanic rock ~

Today’s article features a wine that I haven’t checked in on for quite some time.  I began covering this winery with the 2011 (92 points) and the 2012 (91 points) versions of this wine which were exceptional values.  The latest example falls a bit short of these expectations.

The 2016 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso is the typical blend of 95% Nerello Mascalese and 5% Nerello Cappuccio from vines that are aged from 6-50 years old.   A bright violet color in the glass, the wine displays attractive aromas of red berries and dried herbs such as rosemary and eucalyptus.

On the palate that wine is light to medium bodied with a soft core of red fruits backed by piney notes and powdery ash.  Moderate length and intensity shorten up a bit on the finish where some “seedy” tannins exert themselves a bit too much. The wine is fresh, but falls far flat of its predecessors.  86 points.  About $17.  Find this wine.

~ I was looking forward to maybe putting 1/2 a case of this in the cellar for easy drinking but alas. it’s a pass. ~


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