Palmento Costanzo 'Mofete' Etna Rosso 2018
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Direct Press Selection | November 2022
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With the establishment of the Etna DOC in the 1960's came an end to the historic practice of making wines in Palmento - a stone structure carved out of the mountain itself, where winemakers of yesteryear pressed their grapes into volcanic stone vats. Italian wine bureaucrats forbid this practice due to hygienic concerns - making wine in the Mountain itself was too hard to keep clean. Recently, under the guidance of Etna's most renowned viticulturist and enologist, founder of I Vigneri, Salvo Foti, some estates have fought to reestablish these ancient structures and preserve this piece of Sicilian history. Palmento Costanzo has done just this.
Located in the Cru of Contrada Santo Spirito, Palmento Costanzo has been creating wine in their reclaimed winery since 2012. They tend to their bush-trained vines, some of which are over 120 years old, farming organically with focus on preserving biodiversity in their vineyards. Mofete Rosso is 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio, from younger vines (30 years on average), fermented in stainless steel and aged in a combination of tank and old barrels. The wine is wonderfully red-fruited, savory and volcanic mineral laden. Undeniably Mediterranean, with peppery, spicy earth, hints of eucalyptus and menthol, black currant and macerated/stewed cherry fruit backed by fine-grained tannin and a lengthy, saline packed finish, eucalyptus, menthol, dried rose, hints of pumice and black pepper give structure keeps me reaching for my glass.