Alta Mora Etna Rosso 2016
Ruby red in color, this wine has spicy pepper aromas with notes of black currant and mountain herbs. The texture is vibrant and with soft, supple tannins, reminiscent of a great Pinot Noir.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Alta Mora is the Etna project of the Cusumano family, owners of some 1,200 acres across the island of Sicily. This is the fifth vintage of their Etna Rosso, made with grapes selected from vines averaging 20 years of age, and aged in large oak casks. The wine offers flavors of ripe plum and black cherry limned with notes of salt and fresh herbs, finishing with hints of dark chocolate and salted nuts. §
Alta Mora is a new winery from the Cusumano family. These grapes are grown and harvested on the slopes of the active volcano, Mt. Etna, in Sicily. It has been a lifelong dream for the Cusumano brothers to build a winery among these black, fertile and dynamic soils. They believe in taking a great risk to produce great, unique wines.
The name Alta Mora translates to “Tall, Black” representing the great heights of the vineyards on the mountain and the dark, black volcanic soil. The volcano itself is nearly 11,000ft high and vineyards are planted up to 4,000ft high – the tallest in Europe. This brand truly captures the essence of patience, work ethic, energy, and love of unique beauty.
Designed with maximum respect for the grape and its integrity, the winery was built in accordance with the tenets of hypogean architecture, affording considerable energy savings thanks to natural heat insulation and the use of biomass energy. Made with natural materials such as lava and opus signinum, the structure integrates seamlessly with the pristine natural surroundings. Cool in summer, mild in winter, the lava rock in the basement helps to keep and control temperature and humidity and with good shelter from the light, it ensures optimal conditions for all stages of winemaking.
A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieites or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry whites. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.