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Valenti Puritani Etna Rosso 2012

Other Red Wine from Sicily, Italy
  • RP90
  • WS90
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio are two varieties that originated on the island of Sicily. Nerello Mascalese takes its name from the Mascari plain in Catania. DOC Etna Rosso is considered the finest example of wine made from this grape due to the protracted ripening season from high altitude vineyards.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Showing a dark ruby appearance, the 2012 Etna Rosso Puritani embraces a traditional side of Etna winemaking. The nose is likable and bright but I really must underline how rich and seductive the color is. There are some quirky impurities on the bouquet and maybe a touch of volatile acidity with soapy floral aromas and apple skin. Those aromas lift to reveal dark berry, dusty mineral tones and light spice. The tannins show a slightly gritty texture. Puritani is aged in large oak casks and fruit is sourced from the Guardiola Contrada with vines that are to 80-years-old. In summary, this is an enjoyable wine with a untamed personality. I'd suggest a shorter drinking window for this Etna Rosso.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Finely knit and juicy, with smoke and loamy earth notes underscoring the flavors of baked cherry, woodsy spice, fig cake and singed orange peel. An elegant, silky red, with a grippy finish. Drink now through 2025.
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Valenti, Sicily, Italy
Image of winery
The wine story begins in the 1970s. Giovanni was an executive with Stock di Trieste and was accompanying a film crew covering the Festa dell’Etna, a very large bacchanalian fest in Linguaglossa, near the town of Passopisciaro in Sicily. Although Giovanni was a well versed wine drinker, he really did not know the fine wines of the Etna region. After their film shoot, the group was offered some well-aged Nerello Mascalese from barrel. As the saying goes, it was love at first sip! Giovanni vowed then that someday he would produce a wine of this quality and show the world that Etna, too, could make great wine. At the time, little recognition was bestowed upon this tiny appellation and Giovanni wanted to prove the potential for the greatness that Etna had to offer.

Fast forward thirty years and Giovanni Valenti was ready for a second career. Alessandro was now an experienced marketer and was excited about the opportunity to work with his father. Both loved wine. To put the Valenti name on a winery and try to become one the regions finest producers would be a dream come true for both Giovanni and Alessandro.

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 the 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.

Other Red Wine

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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.

CWMKQ0312_2012 Item# 181240