Palmento Costanzo. Etna Rosso 'Santa Spirito'
Etna Rosso DOC
Grapes Nerello Mascalese 90% and Nerello Cappuccio 10%
A breath-taking interpretation of Nerello Mascalese, the aromas are defined and pure red to blue berry fruit, a touch of spice and a dusting of cocoa and flint. The tannins are wonderfully ripe and inviting. This is a wine to age but it is not half bad now, with rosehip, black cherry and wild strawberry. Long on the finish and quite sublime
The section of north-facing slope on Etna is enjoying some serious celebrity, I am just going to clarify the structure of the area a little before starting on the wine: The DOC is Etna Rosso, which loops around the northern, eastern and southern slopes of this live volcano. A Contrada is an ancient estate whose borders are often marked by lava flows (lingue), there are 133 Contrade named at this time, they map the terroirs of Etna and, like Burgundy and Barolo, each can have any number of producers making wine on that stretch of land. Passopisciaro is not a Contrada, it is the local village that appears on a number of labels; including Franchetti who has named his estate after the village, which can cause a little confusion.
Contrada Santo Spirito is a magnificent terroir which Mimo and Valeria have the greatest respect for, and this is why it has taken them until now to make this wine. It had to be right and they have shown admirable patience.
The vines are between 30 and 100 years old, each one trained around a chestnut pole like a small tree. There are around 8000 vines per hectare rendering machinery absolutely useless. Much of this labour intensive vineyard is terraced and all is on black and brown volcanic sands. The elevation of this vineyard rises from between 680 to 750 metres, ensuring cool nights and a long growing season. The low pH of the soils is a natural brake on vigorous growth, the natural average yield is under 500grms per vine.
Harvest is at the end of October, the grapes are sorted before being fermented in small conical steel tanks, the wine is then transferred into large, egg shaped French oak barrels where it remains for 2 years. The shape of the barrel encourages a gentle batônage. This wine is bottled without filtration and held for at least a year before being released onto the market.