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Graci Etna Rosso DOC 2016

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Wine and Winery Information

Graci Etna Rosso DOC 2016

It’s difficult to not be influenced by Alberto Graci’s enthusiasm. He’s a vigneron by trade, having abandoned a promising career in economy to pursue his dream. In just a few years he made his wine one of the leaders of the Etna Renaissance. The joint-venture project with Gaja and last year’s acquisitions testify to Alberto’s dynamism. Nevertheless, he continues to enchant us with the elegance of his wines made with grapes cultivated in the vineyards of Arcuria, Feudo di Mezzo and Barbabecchi. This last features century-old ungrafted vines cultivated at more than 1000 metres above sea level. Their two ‘base level’ Etnas, a 2016 Rosso and a 2017 Bianco, put in exceptional performances. The former brought home a gold thanks to its superb array of varietal aromas, from peach to balsamic nuances, which re-emerge elegantly on an extremely plush and persistent palate. The latter earned a place in our finals thanks to a nose of notable finesse, and a linear, nobly pure structure.

A very special vintage of this favourite of mine, with a pristine perfume of red cherry and blood plum backed by nuances of nutmeg, spice and citrus oil, plus a faint meatiness. Medium to fullish in weight, underpinned by a graphite-like spine of tight-grained gravelly tannins that steadily build with aeration, it reveals an exemplary length of black and red fruits, smoky, earthy and leathery complexity. It finishes with freshness, purity and drive. Alberto Graci with sister Elena farm their vineyards on the north face of Mt Etna, at 600 - 660 m.a.s.l. at Arcuria, Passsopisciaro. Fifteen hectares are planted to Nerello Mascalese and 2.5 to Carricante and Catarratto. Part of the vineyard is ungrafted ‘alberello’ (bush vines) at a total density of 10,000 per hectare. Graci also own an 80 year old vineyard (bush trained) in Contrada Feudo di Mezzo, Passopisciaro at 600 m.a.s.l. In Contrada Barbabecchi at 1000 – 1100 m.a.s.l. Graci own a 1.5 hectare vineyard planted about 100 years ago which is harvested in November!
The most recent Etna eruption occurred in December 2015, and the threat of a serious eruption requires a certain outlook says Alberto “We are fatalists, we don’t care. It’s normal for us”. It is the complexity of the volcanic soils which contributes much to the unique minerality and elegance of the wines of Etna.

REGION: Etna, Sicily, Italy
WINEMAKER: Alberto Graci
WEBSITE: www.graci.eu

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