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Real elegance here, with tart cherry and redcurrant flavours on the light body supported by frim tannins, a little like a cross between pinot noir and nebbiolo! Hailing from a stunning vineyard on Mount Etna's mineral rich south-east facing slopes at 650 metres above sea level and overlooking the glittering sea below.
Product Code: QVT-IT29501
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.
"I don't think I have ever written a bad review of a Wine Society wine in all the years of my membership, until now. My wife and opened a bottle of the 2016 vintage of this wine, and we both agreed it's taste was unpleasant. Fortunately the 2016 seems to be out of stock now. Hopefully the 2017 vintage is better. Maybe we just got a 'bad bottle'."
There are no press reviews for this product.
"I found this wine thin and rather sour, almost astringent, and had not much in the way of fruit to compensate. Not awful, but poor, and definitely not worth buying again. "
Mr John Williamson (27-Feb-2020)
"Truly awful, I had to pour it away as undrinkable. If it was on offer in a plastic bottle in a supermarket at 2euros it would have been overpriced."
Mr John Michell (02-Feb-2020)
"Disappointing wine for me. Thin and lacking depth - can purchase much better wines far cheaper"
Mr Peter Hales (26-Jan-2020)
"The most intriguing red at tonight's tasting. We spent quite a while trying to pinpoint the flavours, until my wife picked out 'horseradish' which sounds really bizarre but the other reviews mention mineral, herbs, savoury and spice...
Roll on the roast beef."
Mr Clive T Couzens (20-Jan-2020)
"We had two bottles of this in our recent Great Savings Premium Italian Delights case. The first bottle contained a thin, pale orange liquid that tasted vile and the second one was, sadly, the same. Both went down the sink. Left bit of a hole in our New Year cellar. Oh dear, not a good start to 2020........."
Mr John Brocklesby (17-Jan-2020)
"The best of the wines tasted in my last order and the best value.It was smooth but full of flavour-a winner"
Mr Timothy J Waller (12-Jul-2019)
"I opened a bottle of the 2009 last weekend, and I was a little apprehensive as to what it would be like. I need not have worried. It was approaching the end of its life, and was starting to dry out, but it combined the elegance of an old Burgundy with the balsamic notes of a wine from Southern Italy. Well worth keeping for a few years if you have any bottles of more recent vintages (and if you have enough self-control!)."
Dr Robert Pearce (01-Jun-2019)
"Always a beauty and this vintage is no different. Textbook Etna elegance and purity, with lots of mineral and savoury character to compliment the sour red fruit. Superb value. "
Mr Adam Ventress (19-Apr-2019)
"Agree about it being less fruit forward which i liked after several different wines which were fruit "bombs"such as the Crazy Melnik. Indeed i got some spice on the nose, middle eastern i thought. Enjoyed."
Mr Paul Hepplewhite (31-Mar-2019)
"Seems like a much cooler vintage than the previous ones. More herbs and soil than fruit. It has nerve and grip. Missing the fruit a bit but still a great wine."
Mr Juan Trujillo Andrades (25-Mar-2019)
"Very different Etna wine to what I'm used to. Lots of tertiary coming through, especially graphite, smoke, herbs. Quite savoury and packed with sour cherry with high acids. Nothing wrong with it - just not my taste."
Mr Liam Escario (22-Mar-2019)
The Oldie (11th Oct 2019)
slopes offer more ripe fruit and silky tannins [than Etna's northern
vineyards]. - Bill Knott"
The Observer (26th Aug 2018)
red-wine mix of pinot noir-like slippery elegance with minerals and a
syrah-like spice-and-fruit combination … outstanding value. - David Williams"
"Etna reds and roses are wines of character. But I'm afraid, I'm with the previous reviewers. Its just not there. My first glass was thin, almost tinny, resiny light fruit. So we left it in the decanter for 1hr, 3hrs. and it just managed a little bit more fruit on the palate, but it just wasn't very pleasant."
Mr James Brown (05-Feb-2016)
"I love Sicilian reds and tried this on the strength of some of the positive reviews. Unfortunately,I'm with Mr Bricknell. I found this sour, acidic and thin. Not short of tannin either so perhaps it will age with more grace. If so, it would have been nice to have been told not to drink yet. Very disappointing.
Mr Chris Tuohy (02-Nov-2015)
"Quite acidic and tannic. Probably would benefit from another couple of years ageing."
Mr David Bricknell (29-Sep-2015)
"Amazing nose, chocolate, plumb, but with a mineral backbeat reminiscent of the best Aglianico. It must be the volcano. Lovely mineral flavour. I can almost taste the volcano... Just great, really good and at £10.95 I am going to stock up!"
Mr Matthew Harris (05-Sep-2015)
"Glorious perfumed nose, chocolate and plum notes on the palate, tangy with softish tannins. 9/10."
Mr Andrew Swann (02-Aug-2015)
"This is a fine example of the finesse and balance that are achievable from interesting grapes grown at altitude. There are fresh, fragrant notes of redcurrants and some hints of spice on the nose. The palate is silky and elegantly framed, with gentle tannins supporting an attractive, complex mix of red berry and plum flavours. Distinctive and finely balanced. Recommended."
Mr Christopher Munday (19-Jun-2015)
Lake District Herald (14th Nov 2015)
"The DOC allows two
indigenous grape varieties, and this red has 80% nerello mascalese and 20%
nerello cappuccio. The wine undergoes malolactic fermentation in steel vats
before ageing in steel, tyhen barriques and finally large oak casks, resulting
in an elegant wine with and intense bouquets and hints of wild red fruits,
spices and liquorice. - Bryan Lindley"
"Rich,complex and long. First Wine society bottle I have tried since joining. Good start!!"
Mr Jeff Garner (15-Feb-2015)
"Fresh, fragrant nose of redcurrants . The palate is elegantly framed, with gentle tannins supporting an attractive, complex mix of red berry and plum flavours. Distinctive and finely balanced. Recommended."
Mr Christopher Munday (19-Jan-2015)
"Delicious - had a bottle in a mixed case - about to buy more!"
Ms Kirsty Nicholson (16-Aug-2014)
The Mail on Sunday (1st Feb 2015)
"It’s as bright as a
flashlight filled with cranberries. - Olly Smith"
"Grown up, delicious, great value."
Mr Phil Cooke (08-May-2014)
"I am happy to say that I strongly disagree with Mr Holpin. I am drinking the 09 now. I get anise, cloves and orange peel on the nose, a burgundian body and a palate of cherries, strawberries and Christmassy spicy notes. It holds up well with etna wines I have tasted at 2 or 3 times the price. Fascinating how two people can find the same wine so different!"
Mr Neil Mungeam (06-May-2014)
"As with some of the comments regarding the 2009, I was very disappointed with this. Even at the discounted price of £9.75, not good value to my taste and also thin and acidic. Very disappointed having just returned from a trip to Sicily and having tasted some wonderful (and inexpensive) Etna wines!"
Mr Peter Holpin (16-Apr-2014)
Surrey Advertiser (9th May 2014)
"A typical Etna blend
of nerello mascalese and nerello capuccio and its structure and minerality
demand food. - Heather Dougherty"
"Light red wine, very high in acidity so needs some serious fatty food. A perfect match with Belly Pork."
Mr David Bricknell (08-Apr-2013)
"Lovely fresh zippy taste with crunchy redcurrants and raspberries. Nicely balanced acidity, and enough depth to be interesting. Really enjoyable."
Mr Timothy Lyford (07-Feb-2013)
"Review from timatkin.com
Mr Simon Woolf (05-Jan-2013)
"Really disappointed with this. I so wanted to love it, grown of the side of a volcano with a great name to boot. Perhaps it was a bad bottle? For a wine over £10 I'd have expected more."
Mr Adam Caplan (01-Nov-2012)
"Wonderful quality red for those who enjoy their wine with food. Recommended."
Mr David P Nunn (30-Sep-2012)
"I bought this out of curiosity for the "fashionable" Nerello Mascalese grape. Red fruits on the nose, decent freshness. Not a bad wine, but I'm struggling to see what differentiates it from hundreds of other reds of similar quality and price tag."
Mr Spyros Andreopoulos (26-Mar-2011)
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