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tracotanzaThis Nerello Mascalese (85%)/Nerello Cappuccio blend from the slopes of Mt. Etna is a garden in a glass. If you’re unfamiliar with Nerello Mascalese, it’s a grape primarily grown in Sicily and makes fascinating, lighter-bodied, tensive, aromatic wines.

Greetings of earthly decay are quickly swallowed by ebullient floral notes and red raspberry. It really does smell like you’ve walked into a botanical garden with its melange of decomposing soil and blossomy exotica. The palate opens with slender elegance, a collaboration of red and dark fruit,  but the shape in the mouth keeps expanding like a new universe, showing some cola-like flavors  and an intense, chalky finish all of which gives the wine a more dynamic personality as if that folksy charm is hiding relentless ambition.

Despite the light to medium weight, and lack of oak, the wine has considerable dynamic range showing both layered, textural depth and hi-toned, acid driven minerality.

Distinctive and thoroughly enjoyable, this blend of earthy grace and bright, cathartic ambition brought to mind the nerve and pulse of Joan Armatrading’s Show Some Emotion

Technical Notes: Native yeast fermentation with 8 days on the skins. Aged in stainless steel for 12 months.

Score: 90

Price: $32 (for sales info contact the Soil Expedition Co.)

Alc: 13%