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Vino Quantico Etna Rosso 2015 (Preservative Free)

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The Rosso is made from 90% Nerello Mascalese, with 10% of the fleshier Nerello Cappuccio. Vineyards around Linguaglossa were amongst the first planted on Etna's northeastern slopes and to this day this zone is considered amongst the finest of the Etna 'villages'. This is made entirely without sulphur additions from a small plot of vines in lee of the Etna crater. As with the Etna Bianco, the fruit is all hand-picked. Then there is a pre-fermentation 'soak', followed by fermentation with indigenous yeasts and maturation in old barriques and tonneaux (50%) and tank (50%) for 12 months. Crafted by Pietro di Giovanni, this does not at all fit the 'dense' descriptor often used for the region's reds. Rather this is a lighter bodied red wine built on freshness, minerality and perfume. The nose is lifted (sappy, red berry and Mediterranean herb notes) and the palate is Côte de Beaune weighted with terrific freshness, energy, powdery tannins and smoky minerality - reminding us that we are tasting a wine grown on volcanic soils. It may not be everyone's cup of tea (I'm thinking of those that may look for more weight), which is just as well, only 125 cases were made. Be quick if you're keen. - Winery Note

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Vino Quantico, run with seemingly unlimited passion by local grower Giovanni Raiti, his wife Vera and their partner winemaker Pietro di Giovanni, is one of Etna’s newest stars. It is also one of the regions smallest producers with a tiny 1.5 hectares of land and an output of around 400-450 dozen bottles. The vines are planted above the village of Linguaglossa, on the northeast flank of the volcano and just two wines are crafted – 100-150 cases of savoury, mineral Etna Blanco and 300 cases of the aromatic, earthy and super fine Etna Rosso. Both are vibrating, delicious wines, emblematic of this exciting area. Duly blown away when we tasted the wines in June, we shipped all we could (which wasn’t very much). 

Giovanni Raiti, a Linguaglossesi by birth and whose family have been growing vines on Etna since the 1800s, tends the Estate’s vineyards. Giovanni and Vera also cultivate an apparently never-ending array the most delicious fruit, vegetables and nuts you can imagine; juicy pomegranates, chestnuts, Cola apples, Mastrantona cherries, fennel, figs, pistachios and asparagus, to name a few. The vineyards are comprised of four small plots and include both old, freestanding alberello (head trained) vines - mostly the red varieties Nerello Mascalese and Cappuccio planted on lava stone terraces - as well as younger, more densely planted and trellised vineyards, planted to an array of indigenous Sicilian grapes including the intriguing Carricante and Catarratto ‘white’ varieties. At an altitude of 600-750 metres, surrounded by groves of chestnut and olive, the vines produce naturally low yields from the black grainy soils of Etna’s slopes. The resulting wines have surprisingly low alcohol levels and vivid acidities, for wines made at this southerly latitude (the Etna Blanco is 12% while the Rosso is 13%). The work in the vineyard is managed entirely organically, and with the kind of concentrated passion you would love to bottle and spread around. No additives in the winery either and ZERO sulphur additions. But don’t get the wrong impression, the wines are fine, transparent, pure and fresh. Just the way we like ‘em.

Raiti’s partner in crime is Pietro di Giovanni, a jovial perfectionist who is focussed on the winemaking and weaves his partners’ fruit into some of the most striking and sensual wines we have come across this year. As we have seen, di Giovanni eschews the use of any sulphur additions, relying on the elemental traces in the sandy lava-based soils to act as his fruit’s natural antiseptic. All ferments are carried out via natural yeasts and there is no new oak employed here; old botti, barriques and tonneaux hold sway so as not to mask the wines’ delicate purity. The wines are bottle unfiltered. 

- Winery Note

Additional Information

Volume (ml)750ml
Winemaking PracticesNatural Wine
Vineyard PracticesOrganic/Biodynamic
Product typeWine Red Other Varietal/ Blends Italian Style

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