Among wines worth drinking, there are wines that are delicious and interesting, wines that are delicious but not interesting, and wines that are interesting but not delicious. This Nerello Mascalese from the northern slope of Mt. Etna is in the latter category. It has loads of vitality but lacks depth and richness.
Almost rosé-like visually, a pale, transparent garnet, it shows aromas of wild strawberry, candied cherry, and rosemary with some crushed rock and hints of smoke.
Light on the palate, delicate but juicy up front, the midpalate brings lots of mineral cut and then turns quite tart on the finish showing cranberry with orange zest. Rambunctious in the mouth, its softly expressive at midpalate then takes on a wild ride oscillating between delicate fruit and screaming acidity, to and fro, until tart wins out. The tannins are chalky but subtle and refined. It’s breathtaking if you like this style. (“Crunchy” is the current term of art for such wines) I do like them but I need a bit more richness.
The extraordinary contrast between confection and severity is interesting and impressive, but with every sip I’m asking: Am I liking this yet?
The delicate, ethereal vocals and pulsing, insistent synth lines of the Donna Summer classic I Feel Love was a good pairing.
Notes: Aged in large oak casks for 12 months. Producing wine in Sicily for eight generation, Tasca d’Almerita was Wine Enthusiast’s European Winery of the Year in 2019.