Nerello Mascalese, 2018. Due Terre

Nerello Mascalese, 2018. Due Terre

Item #: U1021R1II
Vintage: 2018
Varietal: Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard/Appellation: IGT Terre Siciliane, Italy
Color: Medium Magenta
Nose: Dark Cherry
Palate: Black Plum, Anise
Finish: Tight
Rating: 97
Cellaring/Serving Suggestions: Now thru 2025/Red Meat, Strong Sauces/13% Alcohol by Volume

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Due Terre is a coop of several grape growing families who pooled their resources for the greater good and make wine the way it should be made. Their facility in Northwestern Sicily is completely organic and only produces indigenous Sicilian grapes, many with ancient roots.

The Nerello Mascalese grape is one of the prized reds grown on Mount Etna, which is located in the Northeast of Sicily. Because it is a later-ripening varietal, sometimes waiting until November to be harvested, it grows successfully all over Sicily.

Nerello was first identified in the 18th Century and eventually discovered as a family member of Sangiovese, the great grape of Chianti. It also has some DNA from Gaglioppo, a little-known, but tremendously significant grape grown in Calabria. It also plays a minor role in Marsala, one of the great wines of Sicily. Due Terre translates to "two lands" and refers to the one land we walk on and the land we grow grapes on. They may be the same land right next to each other, but their purposes are completely different.

Due Terre believes in minimum intervention. So, besides being organic, they only store the wines in stainless and concrete vats so only the purity of the grape is the center of attention. That is certainly the case here. The complex black fruits are highlighted by the stern acid backbone and authoritative finish. The combination presents a perfect foil for a sausage pasta in a spicy tomato sauce or beef pot roast with Cipollini onions.

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