Tascante Ghiaia Nera 2017  Front Label
Tascante Ghiaia Nera 2017  Front LabelTascante Ghiaia Nera 2017  Front Bottle Shot

Tascante Ghiaia Nera 2017

  • JS94
  • W&S92
  • WE92
  • JD91
  • RP91
750ML / 13.5% ABV
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3.8 33 Ratings
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3.8 33 Ratings
750ML / 13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is Tasca d'Almerita's take on the Nerello Mascalese from young vineyards. There are terraces, surrounded by chestnut and downy oak groves, a typical biodiversity that gives the wines their personality. Soft tannins, good drinkability and freshness. Aged in large oak barrels, an ideal and non-invasive wood for Nerello Mascalese.

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
JS 94
James Suckling
Love the freshness and drive to this Etna red, which is redolent of blueberries, cranberries, newly picked cherries and orange zest. So crunchy and vibrant on the palate, without a hint of overripeness. Medium-bodied and energetic, but serious.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
Floral and juicy, with typical nerello mascalese flavors of dark plum, cherry, dried thyme and lavender, Ghaia Nera offers a great entry point to Etna Rosso.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Glossy and bright, this opens with alluring aromas of camphor, wild red berry, violet and wet stone. The elegant palate delivers juicy red cherry, orange slice, star anise and crushed mint alongside flexible tannins and racy acidity.
Editors' Choice
JD 91
Jeb Dunnuck
Another good value, the 2017 Ghiaia Nera offers a medium ruby/translucent hue to go with complex notes of spiced cherries, leafy underbrush, forest floor, and flowers. Almost Pinot Noir-like in its complexity as well as texture, it's medium-bodied, has a wonderful sense of minerality, terrific balance, and a great finish.
RP 91
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The most accessible of these red wines from Tasca's Etna Tascante project is the 2017 Etna Rosso Ghiaia Nera. A pure expression of Nerello Mascalese, the wine sees fruit sourced from various sites, including young vines planted on the northeast flank of the volcano in the Contrada Piano Dario. This vineyard consists of 98 terraces with vines surrounded by chestnut trees and forest bramble. This bright, mid-weight wine is redolent of wild cherry, blue flower and volcanic ash. This is a versatile, easy-drinking and food-friendly interpretation from Etna. An ample 50,000 bottles are made, and this wine awards you one of the best values you'll find in Sicily.
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Tascante, Italy
Tascante The Tascante Family Winery Image

Tasca d’Almerita, one of Sicily’s preeminent wine families, began their adventure in Etna in 2007 with the purchase of two vineyards in the communes of Castiglione di Sicilia and Randazzo on the north face of the volcano. The northern exposure is a cool-climate area, due to the combination of elevation and less direct sun, which helps to retain acidity in the wines. The estate name, Tenuta Tascante, was formed by combining Tasca with Etna spelled backwards.

Today, the Tasca family currently owns four parcels, located in the contrade of Pianodario and Sciaranova in Randazzo, and Rampante and Grasà in Castiglione. (A contrada is a small subdivision of a commune, based on various defining criteria such as elevation, cultural/historical significance, or past lava flows.) The vineyards are mostly at elevations of 2,450 to 2,600 feet (750–800 meters) on the 11,000-foot mountain. All are certified as sustainable under SOStain, a Sicilian-based program that rates wineries and vineyards based on their impact on the environment, in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of the Environment’s VIVA indicators of sustainability.

In 2016 they complete the winery in Contrada Marchesa in Passopisciaro and began working with Stefano Masciarelli as winemaker. The Tasca family, is currently headed by Count Lucio Tasca and his sons Giuseppe and Alberto. In 2019 they were named European Winery of the Year by Wine Enthusiast

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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.

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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.

STC876883_2017 Item# 673895

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