Terre Nere New Releases

Terre Nere New Releases
A “wacky” season according to owner Marco de Grazia, right up until harvest he was not sure whether 2016 would be a great vintage or not. Grapes were healthy but so slow to ripen, with less sugar and fruit ripeness than usual at the beginning of autumn. They waited, and waited, until eventually picking at the end of October. It was a late harvest even by Etna standards. In the end Marco considers 2016 to be “one of my favourites, a little like 2015 but with more lushness and charm.” Apart from the eventual success of the 2016 season, there is a never ending restlessness in evidence at the estate, a non-stop fine tuning of practices – be it vineyard management, ever gentler wine-making or elevage (which now means ageing in bigger barrels as well as barriques) – elements that combine to take quality to ever greater heights. For us these are the most nuanced, elegant and precise wines Marco has ever produced. A stunning range.

Tenuta delle Terre Nere is a benchmark Etna estate owned by the experienced wine afficionado Marco de Grazia. Its first commercial vintage was 2002, making it one of the region’s foremost pioneers. Starting off with one parcel of old goblet vines in the Vigneto Guardiola, Marco has now increased his holdings to numerous parcels including the Santo Spirito, Guardiola, San Lorenzo and Calderara vineyards. There is one vine variety growing on the estate, Nerello Mascalese, which is indigenous to Sicily. Its fabulous old bush vines, the majority of which are pre-Phylloxera, are planted on the rocky and sandy volcanic soils on the north face of Mount Etna at 800 to 900 metres above sea level. Unique, perfumed and spicy these are some of the region’s most complete and distinguished examples