Murgo Etna Rosso 2020
A ruby red color. This wine expresses the true characteristics of Nerello Mascalese grown on the eastern slope of Etna. The specific microclimate is affected by the influence of the Ionian Sea, which contributes great finesse and elegant complexity, which can be attributed to the balanced and refined flavors of this variety
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
A hint of tar and smoke lend depth to this wine’s bright cherry and plum flavors. It finishes on a savory note, ready for roast pork.
For more than 100 years, the Scammacca del Murgo family has cultivated vines and olives under the fiery gaze of Mount Etna in Sicilia. More than once this active volcano has destroyed vineyard plots and covered their family home under ash—events that would rattle the nerves of even the most daredevil winemakers. Yet for the Scammacca del Murgo clan, it’s just the price one pays for the privilege of growing vines in one of the more dynamic and breathtaking wine regions on earth.
Up until the 1970s, Baron Emanuele and his family produced wine for locals in Santa Venerina. Friends and extended family would visit the estate, chatting with the “baron” while filling up their damigiana with wine for the week. It was in 1981 when Emanuele decided the time was ripe to move away from bulk production to focus on Etna’s exceptional volcanic terroir and its native grape, Nerello Mascalese. The family produced its first Etna Rosso in 1982 and then in 1990, they bottled their first estate sparkling dry wine from Nerello Mascalese, crafted according to the Méthode Champenoise.
Caring for vines and crafting wine has always been a family affair; the baron’s eight sons—Michele, Pietro, Matteo, Filippo, Alessandro, Bernardo, Manfredi and Costantino—all have a role, either in the fields or in the cantina, with the singular goal of ensuring that their father’s pioneering work in redefining the face of Etna wine continues.
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.