2013 Palmento Costanzo, Nero di Sei Rosso, $70
Winery info: We usually strive to source the two wines for this club from different parts of the world. But this month we decided to shake things up a bit: Both of this month’s wines come from the same winery, Palmento Costanza, based in the Etna region of Sicily. This Small Vineyards producer is located within the boundaries of the stunning Etna National Park, with about seven hectares of vineyards, some up to 120 years old, on the northern slopes of Mt. Etna. “Nero di Sei” refers to “six,” the top designation for volcanic activity. This is the top red from their estate.
Grapes: 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio, from vines ranging in age from 30 to 120 years old. Aged in large French oak casks for two years and 12 months in bottle.
Vineyard: Located on the terraced slopes of Mt. Etna at 600 to 800 meters in elevation. The soils are black, brownish volcanic sands and volcanic rocks.
Flavor Profile: An intense, yet elegant wine, with plenty of minerality and a touch of almond on the finish. With its depth and complexity, and terroir-driven character, it is a wonderful food wine.
Availability: Both of these wines are sold via direct import, imported only in the amount ordered by presale at Small Vineyards’ direct import tasting. As such, they are very limited and are likely no longer available.
Drinkability: Drinking well now, it will continue to develop for another ten to fifteen years.
Food Pairing: Steak, grilled calamari with cumin, or grilled vegetables. Or with a nice barbeque!
2016 Palmento Costanzo, Mofete Bianco Etna, $29.75
Winery info: (see above)
Grapes: 70% Carricante and 30% Catarratto, from 5- to 30-year-old vines. Aged in stainless steel tanks for six months.
Vineyard: Grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, on dark, volcanic sandy soil rich in minerals and organic matter.
Flavor Profile: Very aromatic, with great complexity and structure and an intense minerality from the volcanic soil. With a touch of floral and citrus notes and a lovely lingering finish.
Availability: (See above)
Drinkability: Drinking well now, though it could develop for another five to eight years.
Food Pairing: A great food wine, this one would pair wonderfully with grilled seafood, such as sea bass, oysters, or other shellfish. Or with chicken.