AZIENDA AGRICOLA TORNATORE, ETNA ROSSO & BIANCO
What's the first thing you think of when you hear the name Etna?
For many, the name no doubt summons the image of mainland Europe's largest and most active volcano.
For those of us who love and live for wine, however, our mind surely goes to the viticultural region Etna, source of some of the most exciting wines coming out of Italy today.
No doubt Mount Etna will continue to loom above Sicily as a persistent existential and ecological threat, but the current generation of winemakers toiling in its shadow are taking advantage of the acutely steep slopes and rich, volcanic soil to produce wines of exceptional merit, with a distinctive earthy minerality that speaks powerfully — and sometimes even poetically — of place.
Perhaps no winery in that simultaneously cursed and blessed region has done more to show connoisseurs that Etna is a major player on the world stage than Tornatore.
Family-owned and -operated, the estate dates its presence in Etna to the mid-1600s, with the cultivation of olives and hazelnut groves giving way, over time, to the production of wine.
This red, their proud flagship, is a single-vineyard wine, sourced from the Trimarchisa vineyard, which is situated on a ridge of lava soil. A blend of two grapes, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio, we found it to be a blend of a different kind as well, combining as it does the elegance of a Burgundy with the complexity of a Barolo.
Our tastings showed it to be ripe but also beautifully structured; big-bodied and robust, but also unexpectedly light on its feet. We were impressed from the start by its lively freshness, and we were just as impressed to see that that initial raciness moderated itself into a softness and suppleness that should, we think, only serve it as it continues to age and mature.
At the same time, our tastings revealed that this is a cellarable wine that you can pop open now, whether to drink by itself — when you can linger over its many fine qualities — or to pair with a wide range of flavors. It made a splendid match with a big bowl of pasta Bolognese, and ditto a rack of lamb roasted with garlic and thyme. And it was stunning when paired with a zesty preparation of Angry Mussels, its minerality and earthiness playing wonderfully off the brine and garlic and tomatoes.
The only bad news? That we could secure only a limited allocation of bottles. So hurry — they won't stick around for long!
*Offer NOT valid in-store. This offer is made pre-arrival, with wines estimated to be delivered to your preferred store in Summer 2022. With the supply chain issues that we are seeing globally, there may be some unforeseen delays which could affect the ETA. All sale prices are the lowest available at Total Wine & More and ONLY valid through Concierge Sales. No further discounts or coupons may be applied. Offer only valid in AZ, CA, DE, FL, NC, TX, VA, and WA. This offer is for ONE WEEK, or until sold out, and will expire on Sunday, May 15, 2022.