2019 Due Terre Nerello Mascalese
Region: Sambuca in Sicilia > Sicily > Italy
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming with some biodynamic practices; clay loam soils; fermented and aged in concrete; bottled unfined/unfiltered with <20ppm So2; zero-zero; 13% ABV; 200 cases
Winemakers: Catherine Stratton + Vito Lauria
Due Terre Wines is a collaboration between friends, Alcamo native Vito Lauria and California-based wine merchant Catherine Stratton. Vito returned to Sicily in 2005 after getting his Enology degree in Udine in 2003 and spending a few years working at wineries in Northern Italy. With Catherine's help, he revitalized his family’s old winery in Alcamo and worked his relationships with the local small family that he had known since childhood. All Due Terre wines are from certified organic growers who have been working this way for many, many years and all are single varietal bottling, to showcase the unique character of each native grape. Even the labels have a cool story - designed by Vito's dear friend and illustrator, Chiccabu, they are based on drawings of the traditional marionettes used in Opera dei Pupi (Sicilian Puppet Theatre) which UNESCO has designated as part of humanity’s “oral and intangible heritage” and has devised a plan to save it from extinction.
Nerello Mascalese is an indigenous Sicilian varietal that has s the primary grape in the famous wines of Mount Etna. Naturally high in tannins and light in color, the grape takes on a softer, more approachable character when grown on the lower elevation sandy soils like those on the island's Southwest. Here, in the Due Terre bottling, the grape drinks like an earthy, lifted and light Rhône Syrah, with approachable tannins, bright, tart red fruit, sour cherries, dark plums and a finish of wet earth. Lovely with a slight chill and a burger. Or just a slight chill and friends.