An Etna Rosso to Introduce You to Etna Rosso

Today’s Story: Girolamo Russo

Girolamo Russo is a family-owned and operated wine estate located near the town of Passopisciaro on the north side of Mt. Etna in Sicily, Italy. The estate was “re-established” by Giuseppe Russo in 2005 who, though formerly a pianist, desired to continue his family’s tradition of winegrowing and named the estate in honor of his father. Girolamo Russo consists of 18 hectares of vineyards situated between 650 and 780 meters (2,132 and 2,559 feet) above sea level, with all farmed adhering to organic viticulture. Russo grows fruit in the crus of San Lorenzo, Feudo, and Feudo di Mezzo with many vines being a century old. In culmination with a minimally invasive winemaking philosophy that includes fermentation with indigenous yeasts and minimal oak influence, the wines are often described as pure representations of place.

Today’s Wine: 2018 Etna Rosso ‘a Rina

94% Nerello Mascalese, 6% Nerello Cappuccio; 13.5% ABV

The 2018 ‘a Rina is medium garnet in color with hints of pale ruby. I decanted this for about an hour but drank it over several. The aromas are of medium (+) intensity, with the nose showcasing notes of red cherry, stemmy strawberry, orange rind, a hint of rose petal, thyme, volcanic earth, mild smoke, and slight peppery spice. Meanwhile the flavors are of medium intensity and the palate displays notes of dried cherry, cranberry, dried strawberry, licorice, tobacco, leather, crushed gravel, cracked pepper, and stony mineral. This dry red is medium-bodied with medium (+) acidity, medium but fine-grained tannins, medium (+) alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $32. I think this offers pretty solid value for Etna Rosso, as it demonstrates good balance, intensity, complexity, and an obvious sense of place. Though it isn’t the best Etna Rosso I’ve had, for the price this is worth trying.

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