IDDA Etna Rosso 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In 2015, Angelo Gaja and Alberto Graci met for the first time. As the Gaja’s got to better know Alberto and his family over time, Angelo’s deep curiosity for their culture and land kept growing, and the desire of working together came naturally. Toward the end of 2016, based on the mutual respect and love of the artisanal approach in winemaking, Gaja and Graci decided to form a joint venture, a first for both of their families.
“Idda” (ee-duh) means “she” in the Sicilian dialect, which is a term of endearment and expression of awe with which Sicilians refer to Mt. Etna. For the people of Sicily, Etna is more than a mountain; it is a breathing being with her own identity and personality, a quick-tempered, capricious, yet maternal and protective mother on whom they depend on each day. In honor of Etna, IDDA is the name of our new adventure. A joint venture involving two families: Gaja and Graci (Gra-chi), that began in 2016, founded to explore the southern slope of Etna. Together searching for vineyards that express elegance and complexity driven by the specific site, soil & sunlight- that is unique to this land. IDDA is pure energy
A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white Sicilian wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieties or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected Sicilian wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry Sicilian white. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Extending across the variable volcanic soils of the slopes of Mt. Etna at some of the highest vineyard altitudes in all of Europe—up to 3,300 feet—Nerello Mascalese is one of Sicily’s most noble red varieties. It makes a beautifully aromatic, firm, cellar-worthy but pale-hued red often comparable to a fine Burgundy or Barbaresco. Somm Secret—Nerello Mascalese takes its name from the black color of its grapes, nerello, and the Mascali plain between Mt. Etna and the coast where it is believed to have originated.