Ayunta Nerello Mascalese Rosso 2019
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Direct Press Selection | September 2021
- Press 4 Mix
- Press 4 Red
In 2011 Filippo Mangione spent his life savings to buy the vineyard that started Ayunta. Until the 1960s his family had been making wine on Etna, but the estate was sold off when his grandfather died. Filippo spent years selling other peoples' wines as a sommelier and in sales in the US and England, and his yearning to return to Etna and make wine only grew. After a long search, he found a vineyard of century-old vines behind a chestnut grove, and the aging owner wanted Filippo to keep his vines alive. Filippo now has just under 3 hectare of vines on nothern Etna in some of the rockiest parts of the region. Everything is farmed organically.
The Nerello Mascalese Rosso is not labeled as Etna because he wanted to put the grape name on the label, which is not permitted by the DOC. But it is no less an Etna Rosso because of that, coming from 50-100 year-old vines. It's a lighter take on Etna Rosso, made with a gentle press and carbonic maceration. Sleek and smooth, it's not tannic but dangerously drinkable, especially with a chill. Black cherry and juicy tomato notes are held in check by a touch of rhubarb and the signature mineral tang of Etna. [Jonathan Kemp, August 2021]