One of the most exciting wines from Sicily. Marc de Grazia hails from Piemonte but championed the revival of Mt Etna wines back in the early 2000s when vineyards cost almost nothing - now land on this majestic volcano is some of the most sought after in Europe and the wines have become globally recognised for quality and distinctiveness. He created Tenuta della Terre Nere (land of the black earth) in 2002 and has been instrumental in identifying and classifying the finest 'cru', or Contrada as they are known locally, on the prestigious northern slopes of Mt Etna where the vines take some respite from the Mediterranean sun thanks to aspect and altitude.
Grapes for the Etna Rosso are grown right across the lower slopes of Etna at an altitude of over 500 metres - the local grape varieties for reds are the ancient pair of Nerello Mascalese (which dominates with its character and weight) and Nerello Cappuccio (a minor blending grape that brings colour and acidity). Notes of brimstone and strawberry, often a thrilling note of tangerine and blood orange, and a pale colour lead onto a surprising rich palate full of depth and nuance. Attractively rustic in nature, it shares some affinity with the charming elements of red Burgundy or Pinot Noir and also the tension and precision of great Nebbiolo. Thanks to its volcanic origins this is a wine that really benefits from 30 minutes or more of decanting. A perennial favourite of staff and customers at Philglas & Swiggot.