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Flat front label of wine

Le Vigne di Eli Etna Rosso 2012

Nero d'Avola from Italy
  • RP92
  • WS91
13.5% ABV
  • JS92
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine displays an intense and bright ruby red color with red fruit aromas and mineral notes. Full in the mouth, similar to Burgundy wines, elegant and fresh.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Etna Rosso is Marco de Grazia's signature style with pretty floral aromas of blue flower, pressed violets, cassis and drying volcanic ash. It delivers great value with tight tannins and a long, polished mouthfeel.
WS 91
Wine Spectator
Tar and briar notes and a burly, tannic structure define the character of this bright red, with accents of coffee liqueur, dried herbs and incense building on the finish. This dense and well-knit version requires some short-term cellaring.
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Le Vigne di Eli

Le Vigne di Eli

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Le Vigne di Eli, Italy
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This small estate on the northern slope of Mount Etna was recently established by Marco de Grazia, owner of the nearby Tenuta delle Terre Nere. “Establishing Le Vigne di Eli - Marco says - was effortless. A simple act of love towards my little daughter Elena (Eli). It happened in 2006. I was offered first one, then another, tiny vineyard, both in exceptional crus: Feudo di Mezzo and Moganazzi-Voltasciara. I bought them, and since the parcels were so small and fine, I was somehow reminded of Elena. Thus, Le Vigne di Eli was born. To use Elena’s drawings as labels came naturally because I love her art work. And equally naturally came the impulse to have this “child’s estate” be a help to children in need. Thus a substantial part of the small proceeds go to a childrens’ hospital, the Ospedale Pediatrico Meyer in Florence. With this, the “children’s project came full circle.

Today, seeing the growing appreciation for Eli’s very fine wines, I’ve selected more tiny parcels of outstanding quality, contracting them, and releasing a bit more very fine wine. This includes a lovely Etna Bianco from a vineyard in Milo. And in the future I know I’ll surely be tempted by other precious little parcels. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

Named “Oenotria” by the ancient Greeks for its abundance of grapevines, Italy has always had a culture that is virtually inextricable from wine. Wine grapes are grown just about everywhere throughout the country—a long and narrow boot-shaped peninsula extending into the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. The defining geographical feature of the country is the Apennine Mountain range, extending from Liguria in the north to Calabria in the south. The island of Sicily nearly grazes the toe of Italy’s boot, while Sardinia lies to the country’s west. Climate varies significantly throughout the country, with temperature being somewhat more dependent on elevation than latitude, though it is safe to generalize that the south is warmer. Much of the highest quality viticulture takes place on gently rolling, picturesque hillsides.

Italy boasts more indigenous varieties than any other country—between 500 and 800, depending on whom you ask—and most wine production relies upon these native grapes. In some regions, international varieties have worked their way in, but their use is declining in popularity, especially as younger growers begun to take interest in rediscovering forgotten local specialties. Sangiovese is the most widely planted variety in the country, reaching its greatest potential in parts of Tuscany. Nebbiolo is the prized grape of Piedmont in the northwest, producing singular, complex and age-worthy wines. Other important varieties include Montepulciano, Trebbiano, Barbera, Nero d’Avola, and of course, Pinot Grigio.

Nero d'Avola

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Opulent and fruit-driven with robust tannins, Nero d’Avola is Sicily’s most widely planted red grape variety. Popular throughout Sicily both on its own and in blends, it features alongside Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, and Nocera in full-bodied Faro, and with Frappato in Cerasuolo di Vittoria to produce a light, lively wine.

In the Glass

Nero d’Avola is a bold, powerful wine with relatively high alcohol, moderate acidity, and an affinity for oak. Its flavors and aromas are of dark fruit (like plum, blackberry, and black cherry), peppery spice and sweet cocoa, occasionally accompanied by an earthy or herbal character. Dried fruit flavors are also common due to the hot weather this variety requires to thrive.

Perfect Pairings

Nero d’Avola’s dark, spicy flavors lend it well to richly flavored grilled meat dishes, but can also be a great compliment to simple pizza or pasta.

Sommelier Secret

If you love big, bold wines like Napa Cabernet and Châteauneuf-du-Pape but want to stick to a budget, look no further than Nero d’Avola for a worthy substitute. Even the best examples are often under $20.

RAE130623_2012 Item# 140112