Guardiola is another tiny Cru of just 1.6ha, an adjacent extension of the Santo Spirito vineyard up the slopes of Mt Etna to 800-1,000m in attitude. Noticeably cooler, the soil is also poorer with very little volcanic ash and a majority of sand and volcanic pebbles. Terracing is required and it becomes narrower with every step upwards. Despite the vines being 50-75 years old they are wizened and scrawny, rather than thick with abundant wood. This is a tough climate, regularly blanketed in snow in the winter, and always the last of the Crus harvested in late October.
The character of the wine is a reflection of its environment. Restrained, tightly coiled and nervous it really is the one cru that needs a few years in bottle to relax and reveal its best qualities. The energetic structure and fresh acidity reminds me of a Nuit-St-Georges, with its spicy austerity that definitely rewards the patient. A thrilling delicate perfume can entrance for hours.
Extremely limited stock.
Origin: Mount Etna / Sicily / Italy
Grapes: Nerello Mascalese / Nerello Cappuccio