Our Score: 91
Grown in a dramatic amphitheater between two lava flows on the northeast side of Mt. Etna in Sicily, this dark straw-yellow white wine is fresh, citrusy, fruity (unripe apricot, grapefruit zest) and sapid. It has the flint/smoky note typical of the volcanic soil.
As much as I like it, this white wine is not for everybody: its uniqueness is the minerality, which comes from the soil, adding a pungent elegance to the long, fruity finish.
Grapes: Carricante, Catarratto, Minnella Bianca
Pairing: This Etna Bianco is versatile. I like it with with swordfish, sardines, fried calamari, lentil soup and shrimps, or tuna steak with capers and cherry tomatoes.
Appellation: Etna Bianco DOC, Italy
Mount Etna is the highest volcano in Europe, and it recently began catching the attention of wine connoisseurs and sommeliers. On its northern, eastern and southern slopes, hundreds of farmers have grown grapes for centuries for family consumption, and wine was an important part of the meal more than a drink per se.
In the last 30 years, thanks to a consortium of visionary producers, Sicily in general, and the Etna region in particular, were able to implement more advanced farming and vinification processes which enhanced the uniqueness and the high quality of the grapes, soil and micro-climate (terroir).