2018 Tenuta delle Terre Nere Etna Rosso 'Guardiola' Sicily
Winemaker Notes: Of the crus in which I own vineyards, Guardiola is the highest in elevation, ranging from 800 to almost 1,000 metres altitude. And, naturally, as one climbs higher, the soil becomes poorer. Guardiola being no exception, its make up being mostly lean volcanic sand and basaltic pebbles of sorts, with a little ash thrown in. And equally naturally, the slopes become steeper, the terracings narrower in order to compensate. Vineyard management all manual and singularly difficult. The altitude drives the acidity in the wine, the lean soil accentuates the tannins. Ripening is, therefore, of the essence. Production often lower. Guardiola is somehow particularly attractive. Always the tightest wine, the most difficult and sometimes askew when young, it still remains a favourite. It may be its focused intensity, the tension of a coiled spring; or the sense of austere purity it delivers; or the uniquely high-toned, almost stony bouquet. Or probably because all of the above together make for a wine of very powerful character. Of all crus it is the one requiring more time to release and relax. The sinew releases its tension just a bit, the tannins soften, the wine’s authority remains. Pork, steak, sausages, game, braised meats.
James Suckling - "Very complex aromas of burnt orange, dried flowers, ash, toffee and dried strawberries. It’s full-bodied and very tight with focused, firm tannins and a long, chewy finish. Needs two or three years to soften."
Wine Enthusiast - "Fragrant blue flower, underbrush, wild berry and Mediterranean brush aromas form the nose on this vibrant red, grown on high altitude slopes. The tense, racy palate offers sour cherry, orange zest and star anise alongside taut, fine-grained tannins and an acidic backbone. Drink 2022–2030."
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