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ROSE WINE

Graci 'Etna Rosato' Etna, Sicily, Italy 2023

  • $27.00
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NERELLO MASCALESE
TART & FRESH
ORGANIC FARMING
BOTTLE CLUB 2024 and STAFF FAVORITE
ETNA and SICILY
ITALY

The Graci estate, located on the northern slope of Mount Etna, has a viticultural history spanning several thousand years. The winery uses minimal intervention techniques and focuses on reflecting the unique personalities of their vineyards and the differences between each harvest.

  • Winemaker: Alberto Aiello Graci
  • Farming: Certified organic farming practices.
  • Variety: 100% Nerello Mascalese
  • Terroir: Located in Passopisciaro on the northern slope of Mount Etna. The vineyard spans 2 hectares with non-calcareous, volcanic sandy soil rich in limestone, iron, and nitrogen. Elevation ranges between 1800 and 3000 feet above sea level. High density planting with 6000-10000 vines per hectare, some ungrafted on their own roots, no use of herbicides to maintain soil balance and vitality.
  • Vinification: Harvested manually in early October. Slow, vertical hydraulic pressing without maceration. Fermented in cement tanks with no malolactic fermentation. Aged for five months on fine lees with natural filtration, followed by one month in bottle before release.
  • Aging: Five months on fine lees in cement tanks, one month in bottle.
  • Tasting Note: Pale salmon pink color. Elegant bouquet with notes of red berries and strong volcanic mineral characteristics. The palate is harmonious and balanced, featuring ripe red berries and a saline-mineral finish.
  • Pairings: Ideal with seafood, sandwiches, and light salads. Perfect for enjoying on a patio.

From our July 2024 Explore Like A Somm bottle club notes:

Graci Etna Rosato, Etna, Sicily, Italy 2023

Graci is located in Passopisciaro, on the north side of Mount Etna, in Sicily. The farms and winery of Graci follow winemaking traditions dating back over a thousand years and boast vineyards in the heart of the Alcantara Valley at an altitude of 600-1,000 meters above sea level. Graci is certified organic and only cultivates the native vines of Mount Etna, respecting the territory, tradition, and peculiarities of each vintage. They limit intervention in the vineyard and in the cellar, believing that only by following and respecting the natural expression of the territory can a unique wine be made Interestingly, Graci does not use standard barriques but only vertical large wooden ‘tini’ and large, well-seasoned wooden barrels. All their efforts are aimed at supporting the personality of the vineyard, keeping intact the diversity and character of each vintage.

Nerello Mascalese is a dark-skinned varietal that thrives in the rich volcanic soils of Mount Etna. The soil is non-calcareous and sandy, high in limestone, iron, and nitrogen. At Mount Etna’s high elevations, the often radical climatic seasonal changes drive the Nerello Mascalese grape to adapt to its conditions, and the wines produced express their true nature, never ceasing to amaze and thrill winemaker Alberto Aiello Graci. Nerello Mascalese intrigues with its deep ruby color, light-medium body, red berry notes, and hints of spice and smoke, all wrapped up with distinct minerality and balanced tannins. While frequently made into red wine, it is equally, if not more, well-suited to making rosé, due to its lighter body and Pinot Noir-like adaptability to a variety of cuisines.

This rosé was hand-harvested in early October, pressed, and fermented in cement tanks. It spent five months in contact with fine lees, adding a richness to the palate, then was naturally filtered into bottle. A gorgeous pale, barely-there pink, it is almost golden-hued in the glass. This wine is elegant and understated, while also bursting with tart red berries, Eureka lemon, volcanic minerality, and a mouth-watering saline finish. This is the perfect wine to accompany just about any summer meal. She is begging to join you on your next picnic, alongside finger sandwiches and seasonal salads, or with heartier fare like a lemony seafood pasta or Moules-frites. — Karen Smith