Calabretta "Cala Cala" Rosso NV
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Calabretta, on the northern slope of Mt Etna, is one of our favorite estates, and though it is a regular presence on our shelves, we couldn't do a whole month of Etna wines without including at least one of their offerings. The winery is 100 years-old but has only been bottling their wines for about 25 years. Before that, they sold entire barrels to restaurants or private customers. Now they really advocate for long aging in big, older botti, and have some of the best examples of aged Etna wines. All of their wines, even this inexpensive everyday red, see a degree of barrel aging that is not typical, especially given their affordable prices. They are also refreshingly loose and wild in their approach, hardly a stuffy old winery, more like a quirky, rustic throwback.
The Cala Cala Rosso is a non-vintage wine, which allows them to offer an inexpensive red with 6-7 years of aging in huge, old barrels. It's a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. I love how this is so easy to drink yet has a spicy, smoky complexity from Etna’s effusive lava flow. It is always one of my favorites to have on hand since it can go with almost anything you are cooking for dinner. Jonathan Kemp