Monday, March 6, 2023

A Red Wine From Sicily's Volcanic Soil

Duca di Salaparuta is one of the oldest wineries in Sicily, producing fine wines since 1824. Their  Vajasindi Estate - in northeastern Sicily, on the slopes of the Etna volcano - has given the Reina family two native grape varieties for a pair of new wines. Lavico Etna Rosso DOC 2020 and Lavico Etna Bianco DOC  2021 are made, respectively, from Nerello Mascalese and Carricante grapes. The winery says that these wines exhibit "the grace of the mountain, the warmth of the sea, and the minerality of the volcano." The wines of Duca di Salaparuta are sustainably grown.

The 2020 Lavico Etna Rosso DOC is aged partly in concrete tanks and partly in French oak barrels, for a total of 12 months. Alcohol hits 13% abv and it sells for $34.

The color of the wine is a very light ruby, very elegant looking. On the nose, there is a beautiful bouquet of cherry candy, ripe strawberry and roses. The palate offers more of the same - delicate red fruit flavors are tinged with minerals and the tannic structure is very fine, almost dainty. The finish leaves a lovely impression of the fruity side of this wine, with enough of the savory side present to make one wish for more.

The 2021 Lavico Etna Bianco DOC is aged in stainless steel tanks for four months, on the lees, before getting another three months in the bottle. Alcohol tips only 12.5% abv and the wine retails for $34.

The pale wine has a nose that screams savory - salinity and minerals abound. Despite that, there is plenty of fruit to go around - stone fruit, lemons and mango. The palate is where that minerality really lives, with a taste of the ocean meeting all that citrusy fruit. Acidity is in full force, while the finish is lengthy and memorable. 

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