2015 Vino di Anna Palmento
Region: Mt. Etna < Italy
Grapes: 87% Nerello Mascalese + a smattering of Nerello Cappuccio and local white grapes
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; mineral-rich soil of decomposed lava; some of the grapes were destemmed by hand and the rest left as whole bunches; the lot was foot trodden over 4 days, then fermented in a combo of Palmento, (the traditional open-top stone vats of Etna) with some in tank and old oak foudre, then aged for 7 months in another cocktail of tank + foudre + Qvevri (clay amphorae buried in the earth); unfined/unfiltered; 530 cases made
Winemaker: Anna Martens
Anna Martens cut her teeth in Australia and Tuscany before starting her own project on Etna. While fairly new to the scene, she’s already made the short list of best natural winemakers on the mountain, known for her pure, unadulterated expressions of Nerello Mascalese. She calls this bottling Palmento, an homage to the traditional Etnean wine cellar with stone troughs for crushing grapes by foot – the old (and now, technically, illegal) style in which this wine was made. It’s classic Etna but lighter, juicier and more energetic than most of the wines from the mountain. Tart and savory, with blood orange, Campari, raspberry and an elusive umami quality. If you liked the Frank Cornelissen Contadino we featured a few months ago, you’ll love this – they’re like brothers from another mother. Serve slightly chilled.