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Fresh and elegant white from the volcanic slopes of Mount Etna on Sicily with enticing scents of peach and a hint of sage. Made predominantly from the local carricante grape with some catarratto grown at over 650 metres, this fresh white cries out for classy seafood.
Product Code: IT29461
View all products by Nicosia
Nicosia was founded at the end of the 19th century as a wine trader by Francesco Nicosia, and is still run by his great-grandson Carmelo with his sons Francesco and Graziano. Carmelo has been responsible for the recent restructuring of the company’s vineyards: in 2002 he bought six hectares at Trecastagni, on the south-east slopes of Mount Etna overlooking the sea, replanting the land with nerello mascalese and nerello cappuccio for red and catarratto and carricante for white. The volcanic, mineral soils impart a richness to the wine, whereas the altitude here provides lower temperatures, leading to fresher, more elegant character.The family also owns 30 hectares in the province of Ragusa in Vittoria, planted with frappato and nero d’avola grapes, famous for making the region’s Cerasuolo red wine. This is a green and fertile land with a Mediterranean climate and limestone soils.The large, impressive Trecastagni winery is a result of many years of hard work, and is filled with both stainless-steel tanks and oak barrels, as well as an ultra-modern bottling line. It also has an excellent restaurant that is well worth a visit! The Fondo Filara range we buy is a great example of the company’s values: expressing both Sicilian winemaking tradition and the potential of the area’s native grape varieties.
In ancient times this was the main source of high-quality wines from the peninsula of Italy The Greeks had introduced viniculture through their colonies there and named the bottom half of the peninsula ‘Oenotrai’ or land of wine, and the Romans expanded on the tradition, particularly in the Campania where many wealthy citizens owned vast estates and some of the most famous wines of the empire were made, such as Falernum. Some grape names appear to reflect the Greco-Roman influence (greco, aglianico), though this may be more about folk-memory than fact as there is no ampelographical evidence linking these varieties to any Greek ancient forbears. Campania itself is the area around Naples and Mount Vesuvius. Naturally there are volcanic soils in the vicinity and as the vineyards climb the Apennines there is altitude to cool the grapes as they ripen. As such there is a balancing freshness to the fruity wines. Greco di Tufo, fiano (especially from Avellino) and falanghina are among the best white wines, characterful and perfumed. Of the red varieties it is aglianico that makes the most impressive examples on the volcanic soils of Taurasi, though there is potential promised and realized in other varieties like piedirosso. There are excellent aglianico wines from Basilicata, the once impoverished region on the instep of the Italian boot. Inland on the border with Puglia, round the extinct volcano of Monte Vulture, the aglianico grape performs admirably to produce powerful ageworthy red wines that retain a thread of finesse. Calabria is the toe of the boot, and another region of limited economic development in recent decades. From one end of the province to the other mountains form a spine and, unlike in Campania, the vineyards producing the best wines are on the flat. In particular the DOC of Cirò on the Gulf of Taranto in the east of the province produces perfumed red wines from the indigenous gaglioppo grape.Across the Apennines on the Adriatic coast lies Puglia, a region that has begun to overcome a longstanding reputation for producing wines for bulk export but is now producing a range of fascinating good-value red wines from varieties like negroamaro, primitivo (aka zinfandel in California) and uva di troia. In the right hands all of them are capable of making very fine wines with plenty of ripe fruit, concentration and structure but without the overpowering alcohols that a hot climate and indifferent winemaking once routinely produced. They are also often excellent value. Puglia is largely flat, almost table-like lacking the softening effects of altitude must rely on the air conditioning of the sea and the skill of the winemaker to make balanced wines. Vines are consistently bush trained to retain shade and moisture. The best wines come from the Salento peninsula where the sea is on three sides and the best producers reside. Full-bodied negroamaro from Brindisi and Copertino and primitivo from soils underpinned by limestone in Manduria can be excellent Whites tend to be greco, fiano and minutolo, and there are some well-flavoured rosé wines as a speciality of the region. Whites too are now catching up in quality.Sicily has shown itself to be one of the most forward thinking Italian regions in recent years, with an awakening pride in the quality that can be achieved on this hot, socially complex and culturally saturated island. Sicily was once famous for the fortified Marsala wines that Nelson bought to victual his Mediterranean fleet, but as this fame and the sales that went with it dwindled many producers recognised that there was a need to produce table wines of greater quality. Bulk wine still leaves the island in tankers but there has been something of a revolution in viticulture and viniculture and Sicily now produces some of Italy’s best and most interesting wines. Nero d’Avola has been a conspicuous success, and makes everything from fruity entry-level reds to powerful, ripe and structured reds that can age and is often a major component in high-quality blends with syrah, cabernet and merlot. Mount Etna is a source of fine reds and whites of depth, finesse and zest, grown on the slopes of the famous volcano. Altitude and volcanic soils provide excellent conditions for the local nerello mascalese, nerello cappuccio and carricante (a white grape) vines. The white former mainstays of Marsala production cataratto and grillo are being given their head by winemakers who want them to shine alone and shine they do. Finally there has been a renaissance of interest in the intense, sweet muscat wines of the island of Pantelleria, an island closer to Tunisia than Sicily.Sardinia, until 1708 a Spanish possession, grows several vines that reflect an Iberian heritage. Graciano and mazuelo grow here as bovale sardo and boval grande respectively. Cannonau is grenache/garnacha by another less Spanish name. The grape that the island has exported to other parts is vermentino from which its finest, aromatic and flavoursome whites are made. Mazuelo, better known as carignan, makes the islands best reds called carignano del Sulcis.
"Clean and bright.
This is a fresh white with great lemony acidity.
Excellent with a chicken casserole, or with enough flavour to be an aperitif."
I would recommend this wine
There are no press reviews for this product.
"My second order of this wine and I’ve got to say it wasn’t as nice as the first batch. Quite thin and almost non descript in taste (hopefully not a coronavirus symptom!). I have to agree with fellow member John Kearney.
My first order was much more impressive with good depth and pleasant finish. The second order wasn’t helped by the first bottle I opened having cork taint "
Mr Darryl Corney (20-May-2020)
"Really disappointed in this. I found it insipid, very little bouquet, very little taste in the mouth and very little aftertaste.
It was the opposite of the the Wine List narrative. Not really worth drinking.
Mr John Kearney (13-May-2020)
"I thought this delicious. A citrus pulp and pear nose leading to a lively palate with some nuttiness, a hint of richness in texture with a pleasing bitter almond finish. Plenty of acidity making it good with food. It went well with an artichoke and pea pasta. Real character from the two native grapes."
Mr Stephen Chesterfield (06-Mar-2020)
"I picked this wine for lunch with friends at a very nice restaurant this week, (having drunk Sicilian whites previously and having seen it featured here at the WS). Everyone was very complimentary about it and I thought it was excellent. I shall definitely order some now!"
Mr Roger Wilson (04-Mar-2020)
"Greatly drinkable, but the mineral overtones do not really compensate for the thinness of the taste on the palate. Very quaffable - too expensive for its impact and enjoyment."
Mr Giles M H Mills (02-Sep-2019)
"Very classy white. Touch of citrus and mineral finish. "
Mr Russell Sainty (15-Jul-2019)
"This is really very good.
It's got some steel, and lemony edge, but combines that with a lovely, round mouth feel that caresses the back of your throat as the wine slips down.
More-ish but with a hint of sophistication.
Rev Robert Stanier (01-Jul-2019)
Hampstead & Highgate Express (5th Dec 2019)
"A fragrant, delicate,
delicious organic white from the lava-strewn slopes of Mount Etna … blending
native Sicilian grapes carricante and catarratto. - Liz Sagues"
JancisRobinson.com (9th Aug 2019)
"Melon, apple, a touch
of dairy flavour and snappy acidity to give refreshment on the finish. Some
bitter leafy complexity on the length. 15.5/20 - Richard Hemming MW"
"Fresh aromas of straw and citrus were light enough to deceive with the idea of a much simpler flavour than what was actually on offer. Plenty more citrus coming through in the mouth, with wax, cooked pineapple, some apples, all topped off with a clean, mineral-driven finish. Delicious."
Mr Addam Merali-Hosiene (18-Mar-2019)
i (19th Aug 2018)
full-bodied ... made mainly from the local carricante and cattaratto grapes and
ideal with any robust fish dishes or the local favourite, pasta with sardines. - Terry Kirby"
joannasimon.com (16th Aug 2018)
mineral dry white combines two of my enthusiasms: wines from volcanic soils and
island wines. They come together on the slopes of Etna as they do on the Greek
island of Santorini, but Etna has its own grape varieties, red as well as white.
The whites are steered by the high-quality, late-ripening Carricante, filled
out here with Sicily’s most widely planted white, Catarratto, both planted at
700–750m. Aside from the mineral character (I know, an overused and imprecise
term, but hard to avoid when soils are volcanic and mineral-rich) there’s pithy
grapefruit and orange zest lightly etched with honey, a streak of
dill-cum-celery and a fresh, salty, sea-breeze finish. It’s a sure-fire partner
for spaghetti alla vongole and other seafood, including octopus (another of my
enthusiasms), and salads with ingredients such as Pecorino, Feta, anchovy and
olives. - Joanna Simon"
The Observer (26th Aug 2018)
… beautifully perfumed but is lifted out of the
ordinary by the scintillating, riesling-like nervy acidity it gets from the
local carricante grape … outstanding value. - David Williams
"I loved this wine. Orchard fruits on the nose, continuing slightly onto the palate, which is clean and fresh with pleasing minerality and a good finish."
Mr Bob White (07-Jan-2018)
"Good aroma, refreshing clear taste, quite dry. Good to find a wine so robust and characterful. Not one for aperetivo, but would go well with a robust seafood dish."
Dr David Rickeard (18-Feb-2017)
The Times (11th Mar 2017)
"The Nicosia family’s
Fondo Filara volcanic white is a cracker — all smoky, minerally, stone fruit
finesse, plus a fine, zingy finish. - Jane MacQuitty"
"This wine has a fresh, intense citrus nose, with grapefruit and lemon notes; even some hints of fennel. On the palate it is taught and sinuous, with a crisp acidity and a dry, slightly herbal finish. Recommended."
Mr Christopher Munday (05-Aug-2015)
Decanter (7th Jan 2015)
"Etna has few bargains, but this might just be one of
them - fruit-driven, with carricante's signature salty finish, and a nutty
dryness. A good introduction to Etna Blanco wines. - Simon Woolf"
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