Tenuta delle Terre Nere San Lorenzo 2016

Tenuta delle Terre Nere San Lorenzo 2016
From a selection pool of 15,000 wines in 2018, US consumer magazine The Wine Spectator has ranked Tenuta delle Terre’s San Lorenzo 2016 number nine this year. This is yet another impressive achievement for Marco de Grazia’s Etna estate, whose reputation is now almost superlative. And it’s not just The Wine Spectator. Major critic James Suckling doled out his top scores to Terre Nere in his 2018 report after tasting almost 900 wines from Sicily and Sardinia, reaffirming their status once again as the region’s smartest estate. Since 2000, this team has aimed high, pursuing pure quality from vineyard to bottle, steadfast in the belief that Etna’s dramatic terroir would eventually yield some of Italy’s finest wines. In that pursuit, they have put the native Nerello Mascalese grape on the international map and re-imagined its overall quality potential. Sixteen years’ experience with Etna’s wild, untrammelled vineyards has seen the wines become a little more sensual and attractive than they used to be, but without sacrificing any of the high-altitude volcanic influences that continue to impart an almost dazzling, gem-like quality to them.

2016 is only the second vintage of San Lorenzo. One of Etna’s “Grand Crus”, this 4 hectare single vineyard enjoys a perfect 750m elevation on black sandy, ancient “Ellitico” volcanic soils - one of only two crus on the whole of Etna to be purely composed of it, along with Calderara Sottana. Average vine age ranges from 70 - 100 years old and the style is one of profound, radiant red fruit with intense, velvety tannins. 2016 is a well-balanced vintage of concentration and freshness, and the San Lorenzo has a beam of sunshine and energy throughout, leading to a crisp herb and stony finish. Given the focus on site-specificity and beauty of expression here, it’s easy to see why Etna is often dubbed the “Burgundy of the Mediterranean”.