|Alana L rated this wine as 91/100 with the following review:|
Etna… Seems fitting to open a bottle of wine from the area surrounding this volcano that went into its 17th eruption early yesterday morning (for the 17th time since the beginning of its recent volcanic activity on February 16th)!
Tenute Mannino di Plachi, with its three estates located in Sicily, has a history dating back to 1800 when Baron Franz Mannino began to export typical Sicilian products, such as wine and oranges, to Europe and North America. At Podere di Pietra Marina, located at 550 meters on the north side of Mount Etna, they cultivate the red grape vines (Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio) for their Etna DOC Rosso; at Tenuta del Gelso, they cultivate vegetables, olives and citrus fruits, and it is at the Sciarelle estate, on the side of Etna that they produce this stunning Etna DOC Bianco from Carricante and Catarratto grapes cultivated in the municipalities of Viagrande and Castiglione di Sicilia.
Made with two indigenous varietals, 80% Carricante (a vine native to the volcanic Etna region) and 20% Catarratto, it’s a bright golden straw color with a very light green tint. On the nose it has citrus, freshly bloomed flowers, warm straw, herbs and a definite warm saline quality. The palate shows fresh, crisp acidity and follows with fruit (citrus again, but also ripe pear), honey, brioche, a touch of smoke and a beautiful long finish. It’s elegant, complex, saline, mineral, soft, buttery and fresh all at once (a result of the vines growing in Etna’s sandy soils – on the northern side of Etna at 550 meters altitude in Castiglione di Sicilia and on the eastern side of Etna at 400 meters above sea level in Viagrande - and benefitting from large temperature fluctuations between day and night as well as the gentle winemaking practices with hand-harvesting, the grapes being softly and slowly pressed at cool temperatures and fermented in stainless steel at controlled temperatures (14-15° C) before spending a few months on the lees. It’s a perfect balance between flavor and freshness, softness and complexity, and with the volcanic soils rich in trace elements adding lovely mineral notes.
A ‘food wine’ that would pair beautifully with creamy fish dishes, grilled chicken, or any manner of antipasti. Absolutely beautiful.
Available through David Francis Wine (www.dfwine.ca) (It’s at Vinitaly 2019 that David met the winemakers from Tenute Mannino di Plachi, followed by a visit to their vineyards. Impressed by the vineyard’s premium location on the slopes of Mount Etna and the clear, uncompromising focus on the quality of their wines, he felt that they stood out and chose to feature them in his selection. David carries a small, but beautifully curated and original selection of wines from Italy, Spain, Moldova and Quebec. He’s chosen each one for a reason and is more than happy to share the stories behind each as well as why they made it into his offering! I was lucky enough to meet him recently and to taste through a selection of wines that reflect what he does with his young (2 years) agency: have a limited, different, high quality selection of wines at price points ranging from $15 - $45.