Tag Archives: Etna

The Vincast with Giuseppe Russo from Girolamo Russo Wines

https://player.whooshkaa.com/episode?id=745047

Growing up, Giuseppe Russo didn’t have much interest in the vineyards his farther and grandfather lovingly tended on the northern slopes of Mt Etna, particularly as the wine they made in the cellar under their house was being sold as bulk wine. He followed his passion for music, studying in nearby Catania then nurturing young musicians as a teacher, the same way his father Girolamo tended the family vines. When Giuseppe’s father passed away suddenly he made the decision to honour him by not only taking over the family contrade, but also starting his own project, naming the label after Girolamo. Initially working closely with neighbouring farmers who knew these soils and vines intimately, and with recent arrivals in the region like Frank Cornelisson and Andrea Franchetti, in the last fifteen years Giuseppe has become one of the regions most celebrated wine producers.

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The Vincast with Anna Martens from Vino di Anna

Anna Martens began her wine career just outside of her home town of Adelaide, working with one of Australia’s foremost authorities on winemaking, Brian Croser. After spending almost ten years at Petaluma, she wanted to spread her wine-wings. She spent some time in New Zealand studying for the Master of Wine, but soon ended up working at the prestigious Super-Tuscan estate of Ornellaia. This was where she met her eventual husband Eric Nairoo, and through his own business importing into the UK, she was introduced to natural wines. Eventually they decided to find somewhere she could produce her own wine, and they chose the volcanic slopes of Mt. Etna, where she now produces Vino di Anna.

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Anna Martens from Vino di Anna

Anna Martens from Vino di Anna

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Passopisciaro – Mondo Imports Trade Tasting

Contrada Chiappemacine 2012
Dusty earthy subtlety, somewhat closed, a bit dirty red fruits, crunchiness. Very tight lean and focused, precise through the mid palate, intense focused tannins, crunchy slightly sour raspberries.

Contrada Porcaria 2012
A bit more open tomato some meat notes, some sinewy ripe dried herbs. Fleshier but still tight, brighter lighter but fuller too, slightly more approachable but still great tannins.

Contrada Guardiola 2012
Some dried floral notes, nice savoury sour black cherries. Powerful in the mid palate, lifted more generous tannins, slightly rounder, lovely soft finish with focused acids.

Contrada Sciaranuova 2012
Deeper darker fruit, sweet cherry notes, lovely soft florals. Surprising tightness and focus but sweeter tannins, quite expressive on the mid palate.

Contrada Rampante 2012
Very subtle, contained possibly even closed. Tight sinewy lithe tannins, drying out on the back, quite savoury earthy tannins. Chewiness.

Contrada single-vineyard wines from Passopisciaro 2012 vintage

Contrada single-vineyard wines from Passopisciaro 2012 vintage

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Passopisciaro – Boccaccio Cellars Consumer Tasting

Rosso 2007
Pretty developed on the nose, very open, possibly a reflection of vintage as well? A hint of meatiness to it. Very tight and sharp still on the palate, plenty of exuberance and sharp acids.

Rosso 2009
Not as open but certainly meatier on the nose, earthy red fruits, a touch more vibrant as well. Still lovely tightness and focus, not as crunchy, better balance of structure, better containment and potential longevity.

Rosso 2010
Lighter leaner and prettier, more subtle and complex, but also a bit more closed, meat vegetal red fruits and earth all in harmony. Juicier and softer roundness but still plenty of fresh acids and firm yet supple tannins.

Rosso 2011
Deeper more intense fruits leaning on the dark side, subtle sweet earth notes. Softer juicier fruits, more gentle tannins, more opulence in comparison to other vintages, a more gentle touch.

Rosso 2012
Punchy almost candies red fruits on the nose, a bit closed at the moment but bright crunchy pretty notes, even some florals too. Soft juicy intense sweet red fruits, warm on the palate, a tad unbalanced at the moment, lots and lots of tannin, nice complete finish, way too early. Quite tight.

Letizia Patane from Passopisciaro

Letizia Patane from Passopisciaro

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Isle be there (Sicily, Italy – Day One)

Thus I have arrived to my eighth and final week in Italy (for now), and I am doing so in quite possibly the most diverse and misunderstood region in the country; Sicily. After spending the weekend in the chaotic city of pizza, Napoli, I boarded the overnight ferry to Palermo. The ride was uneventful, apart from some terrible service for overpriced pizza, but I am glad I paid a little extra for a berth in a cabin, as trying to sleep out in the halls would have been challenging. The ferry arrived an hour earlier than indicated, so when I disembarked in Palermo it was 7:00am and of course nothing was open, so I hit the road. My goal was Faro, a region very close to Messina, where I had an appointment with a very small producer. Unfortunately the address I had failed to get me to the winery and the contact number had similar problems. Therefore after several hours I was forced to abandon this plan with great disappointment, and head south through the Etna region where I unfortunately had no appointments. It was fascinating to see fossilised volcanic lava on the sides of the mountain, and hard to believe that vineyards are planted metres away from this lava. It was a shame that I didn’t visit any producers here, as it would have been interesting to learn more about the specific viticulture and interactions of the varieties with the environment. I look forward to the chance to taste some wines from this part of the island, and hopefully I will be able to visit again. From what I have seen so far, Sicily is most definitely different to mainland Italy, but then again, each region is different from each other. Like in other parts of Italy it is not so easy to get around; the roads are not in great condition, there is often traffic, rarely is there a direct route between places that you don’t have to pay for, and the landscape being hilly also makes for slow-going. But I made it to Vittoria, for three sensational visits on my second but first day in Sicily.

Me at Mount Etna

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