Mortellito "Cala Niuru" Rosso Sicilia 2020Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Direct Press Selection | August 2021
- Press 4 Red
This blend of Nero d'Avola and Frappato from Noto in the far southern tip of Sicily is surprisingly lean and refreshing, not the hot monster you might think from such a warm climate. The limestone in the soils and the cooling effects of the sea are helped by Dario Serrentino's careful restraint in the cellar, picking earlier and using steel tanks to keep things clean and fresh.
Dario's viticulture practices were at a level that Sicilian natural-wine celebrity Frank Cornelissen was purchasing his grapes until a few years ago. The wines that Dario makes from his own fruit is different from Cornelissen's but he manages to retain some important similarities: mainly, that these wines are simultaneously intellectual and thirst-quenching. Where Cornelissen shows off the piquant volcanic power of Etna, Dario expresses the capricious generosity of the Mediterranean.
The Cala Niuru smells like a glass of rosewater, with some wild cherry and briny low-tide seaweed funk in the background. Pomegranate, rhubarb, and a tart cranberry bite on the palate gives this a refreshing lift, with savory elements like pickled onion and wet rocks adding depth without weighing it down. The finish is all lime skin and Campari. Definitely serve this wine chilled, and get a few extra bottles if you can, this is a wine with a unique profile but it is always universally adored and disappears quickly. [Jonathan Kemp, July 2021]