Why's this wine for you?

Set sail for Sicily! Or, if you get seasick - take the train: there’s an overnight sleeper that runs from Rome. It’s a great experience that really lets you see the country.

But however you get there make sure you sample the wonderful wines of Etna, Sicily’s first established DOC - (way back in 1968!) Grown on the volcanic soils of Europe’s highest mountain, winemakers experiment with the differing attitudes to craft reds (and whites, but predominantly reds) of stunning minerality and focus. These wines are the darling of the professional wine drinker’s world right now - After the dominance of Chiant and then Piedmonte over the last several decades it seems like it is finally time for the spotlight to shine on Sicily.

Nerello Mascalese is the hero in this part of the world, a dark skinned grape that produces taut and mineral wines with a herbal edge that have an aromatic profile that has been likened to a mixture of Burgundy and Barolo. Nerello Cappuccino, another endemic variety, is often added to the classic Etna blend (Etna Rosso) to lift the perfume. In the white camp the key variety here is Carricante, known for it’s high acidity, broad spectrum of citrus flavours (think lemon to grapefruit to tangerine and back again) and ageability, but Chardonnay is also produced.

Okay, no word of a lie, we’re salivating just writing about them so let’s dive into some wines. Tascante is the estate we’re visiting today, a subsidiary of mother estate Tenuta Regaleali. As eighth generation winemakers, with holdings all over the island, you can be sure they’ve got that true Sicilian flavour running through their blood.

Your introduction to Nerello Mascalese and it’s relationship with the volcanic soils of Mount Etna. An easy-drinking, nuanced read that has spent time in non-invasive oak for subtle nuance.

‘Ghiaia Nera, meaning 'black gravel' is a nod to the organic vineyard’s volcanic soil. This vintage, from young vines, has real vibrancy and freshness. It's lighter bodied, with malleable tannins and lively acidity, showing floral charm and a core of red cherry and raspberry fruit with herb and earth nuances.’ 92 points, Stacy Slinkard, Decanter

RRP: $60.00
$33.99
(6 or more)
$34.99 per bottle


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The Brief
Alcohol
13.5%
Net Volume
750ml
Vintage
2017
Cellar to
2026
How's it taste?
Deep red. Very flinty and pure aromas of red cherry, redcurrants, and herbs. Then mineral with juicy acidity and plenty of youthful vibrancy to the floral flavors. A lovely Etna Rosso that finishes long and graceful.
Critic Reviews
Expert Review
Expert Review
92 Points
Ian D'Agata - Vinous
Deep red. Very flinty and pure aromas of red cherry, redcurrants and herbs. Then mineral with juicy acidity and plenty of youthful vibrancy to the floral flavors. A lovely Etna Rosso that finishes long and graceful. Unless memory fails me, this is the best ever Etna Rosso by Tasca d’Almerita at a similar stage of development. Well done.
Expert Review
Expert Review
92 Points
Stacy Slinkard - Decanter
Ghiaia Nera, meaning 'black gravel' is a nod to the organic vineyard’s volcanic soil. This vintage, from young vines, has real vibrancy and freshness. It's lighter bodied, with malleable tannins and lively acidity, showing floral charm and a core of red cherry and raspberry fruit with herb and earth nuances.
Expert Review
Expert Review
91 Points
Monica Larner - Robert Parker
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.
Customer Reviews
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