Another really good red from etna

A month ago another interesting etna rosso appeared at the Swedish monoploy and yesterday we tasted it. It is built upon 80% nerello mascalese and the rest is mainly nerello cappuccio but also Alicante from the northern slopes of the volcano and more precisely in the contrada (vineyard area) Moganazzi at 750 m above sea level. Amazingly, some vines here are as old as 150! Soil is sandy with lava and highly mineral. The producer I Custodi let 20% whole bunches go into the crusher and raises the grape juice in used barriques. We keep being fascinated by the wines from mount Etna and they way they mix Burgundy with Barolo, but more importantly their very own intriguing terroir of complex minerals.


2009 I Custodi, DOC Etna Rosso “Aetneus”

The core is dense and glowing of scarlet and cerise colour with light pink-cerise edge.

The nose first emerges with synthetic glue and some “Burgundish popcorn” of which the latter  is a notion of skilful use of wood with light toasting. After another two hours, these scents vanish totally and then it is full of prominent site-typical minerals and lavishly beautiful roses and violets as part of its lovely perfume. In addition, clove, wallpaper paste and spice cumin are noted too. It is pliant, soft and rich, but foremost it is a super crisp and generous wine full of very complex Etna minerals that appear to be wrapped in grape peels and oil paint in a way that partly reminds me of a young Bartolo Mascarello framed by ripe, fine tannins. In addition, spices, dry blood orange and really cool, clean red fruit; mainly notes of raspberry candy, wild strawberries and mull berries. It is very elegant, highly concentrated and quite persistent too. This underrated wine leans more to a very slender Barolo, but without the tar and cigars in terms of aromas and nose, but texture is a middle road. Even though it is approachable now, its tannins needs to settle even more so a guess is to wait with opening this until 2019.


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