Barone Villagrande Etna Rosso 2019
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Direct Press Selection | September 2021
- Press 4 Red
Barone Villagrande is at 2300 ft above sea level on the eastern side of Mt Etna. It's a winery that was started in the 1720s and winemaker Marco Nicolosi is the 10th generation of the family. Certified organic since 1989, it makes some of the best values found on Etna.
The Etna Rosso is 80% Nerello Mascalese, and the remainder is Nerello Cappuccio and Nerello Mantanella, all aged in chestnut barrel for a year. Like my favorite wines from Etna, it suggests power more than it actually delivers on that. So you get a wine that smells rich and full of herbaceous smoky complexity, but is plenty finessed. Cranberry, black cherry, rosemary, and a touch of cacao, all backed up with a little spice and minerality. The winery recommends pairing this with tuna or caponata, which shows its versatility, but I think it will also work with grilled meats and heartier tomato dishes. [Jonathan Kemp, August 2021]