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Tenuta delle Terre Nere - Etna Rosso, Calderara Sottana 2017

Red Wine from Sicily · Italy
Price: £43.95
Case Rate: £41.67
Ex Tax: £36.63
Country:
Wine Region: Sicily
Wine Area: Etna
Wine Maker: Marco DeGrazia
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Grape Percentage: Nerello Mascalese 95%, Nerello Cappuccio 5%
Alcohol Percentage: 14.5%
Unit Quantity (ml): 750
Best To Drink: Drink Now - 2024
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91 to 93 pts  Wine Advocate/Robert Parker
Country:
Wine Region: Sicily
Wine Area: Etna
Wine Maker: Marco DeGrazia
Grape: Nerello Mascalese
Grape Percentage: Nerello Mascalese 95%, Nerello Cappuccio 5%
Alcohol Percentage: 14.5%
Unit Quantity (ml): 750
Best To Drink: Drink Now - 2024

Wine tasting notes

Calderara Sottana’s soil is easily recognizable at first sight. Of all the crus of the Etna appellation it is by far the stoniest. So much so, that in the most remarkable examples you cannot see the soil for the stones: fist sized, light weight, black volcanic pumice. The word Calderara is reminiscent of “caldera” or “cauldron”, probably due to the fact that the black rocks hold the day’s heat through part of the night. The elevation is 600-700 metres. Harvest is sometime in the second to third week of October. Locally the cru has an outstanding reputation. Our Calderara Sottana is a single vineyard wine produced only from vineyards between 50-100 years old. Of all our single vineyard wines it is perhaps the most complete: much like a wide angle lens encompasses the most ample panorama, so Calderara seems to contain and display the widest spectrum of flavors, bouquets, nuances. Floral and spicy, leathery and aromatic, it delivers a wonderful filling sensation on the palate, yet stepping lightly. Don Peppino, whose devotion to Calderara led him to work our vineyards for seventy years, best describes the wines of Calderara: they are “creamy”, he says. And he’s right. Poultry, red meats, game, pasta, pecorino and bread.

Winery information

Tenuta delle Terre Nere

"Proprietor Marc de Grazia is one of the pioneers of the Etna. Not only was he among the first producers to recognize the value of these once-forgotten, ancient terroirs, he also was the first producer to bring attention to the specific qualities of these vineyards by bottling single-parcel Nerellos that have become reference-point wines for the Etna." Wine Advocate, June 2010The Tenuta delle Terre Nere estate has roughly 20-21 hectares, of which 15 are planted to vines. Roughly 4.5 of these have been uprooted and will be replanted within two years after letting the soil "rest". Two vineyards, for a total of roughly 11-12 hectares, make up the Calderara Cru, of which 1.5 hectares are pre-phylloxera; the rest are about 40-50 years old (and they have not been uprooted). Two different vineyards comprise the Guardiola Cru, for a total of 2.1 hectares, almost all of which is pre-phylloxera (except for some replanted vines). The Guardiola vineyards are the highest-altitude red-grape vineyards in Europe! The "Feudo di Mezzo" Cru is made up of two other vineyards, for a total of 1.35 hectares.500,000 years of volcanic eruptions have created endless soil variation in neighboring plots of land, many of them radical. The soil at Terre Nere is mostly volcanic ash speckled by black pumice and peppered with abundant volcanic rock; to call it 'rocky' is putting it mildly! The weather variations in the area are profound and generally characterized by exposure, altitude, and 'airiness,' defined here as the character of a well-exposed vineyard not protected by hills, and therefore open to the cooling and drying effects of the wind. This is particularly important at Terre Nere because the harvest usually takes place in the last weeks of October, meaning that the grapes are in their most fragile state when the weather 'breaks' its autumn pattern, making them susceptible to oidium and mildew. The 'airiness' of the climate, however, helps to dry out the grapes after rain and moisture threaten mold. Above all else, the extraordinary elevation yields dramatic temperature variations between night and day, making the wines of Etna fine and elegant, devoid of the heat and overripe flavors that usually define southern wines. In fact, most people who have tasted these wines, particularly the 2004s, say they find them most akin to Burgundies or Barolos.Production is simple, classic, and Burgundian in style: the grapes are grown organically, using only bordelaise mixture and organic fertilization - mostly dung. Vinification follows the same lead: maceration-fermentation lasts 10-15 days, followed by malolactic fermentation and aging in oak - 25% new - and bottling around 18 months later.

Expert reviews

Wine Advocate/Robert Parker (2013) - 91 to 93 pts

Sept 2015 - Monica Larner - The 2013 Etna Rosso Calderara Sottana shows a different personality compared to Tenuta delle Terre Nere's other single-vineyard expressions. Calderara Sottana offers more balsamic definition with wild fennel, rosemary spring, dark fruit and scorched earth. To my palate, it is the most ethereal of the bunch and the hardest to pin down given that the aromas are in constant evolution and flux. Pretty fruit and berry tones fill in the back. Despite the enormous definition presented on the bouquet, the wine is more immediate and direct in the mouth. Bright berry is followed by ash, smoke and dusty tannins. This vintage feels less complex overall but it should age nicely.


Vinous/Antonio Galloni (2013) - 92 pts

Dark red. Strong stony minerality currently overshadows aromas of red cherry and raspberry. Penetrating and vibrant on the palate, with red berry and mineral flavors displaying noteworthy purity and complexity. Lingers long on the youthfully chewy finish, which features a bright mineral overlay and a violet topnote. This cru is located at roughly the same altitude as Feudo di Mezzo but the soil is extremely gravelly. It's almost always the most Burgundian of Terre Nere?s many crus and it?s no different this year. Only about 800 meter walk away from the Feudo di Mezzo Quadro delle Rose vineyard, but the wines are a world apart.-- Ian D'Agata


JancisRobinson.com (2014) - 17 pts

Tasted May 2016 - Mid crimson. Very rich, deep and round. Dry tannic end. Brooding and long.


Wine Spectator (2014) - 92 pts

A subtle, harmonious version that layers supple tannins and smoky minerality with flavors of plumped cherry, star anise, fig cake and orange bergamot. Dense and well-knit, with a persistent finish. Best from 2018 through 2028.


James Suckling (2013) - 92 pts

A fresh, floral red with plum, mushroom and dried-fruit aromas, following through to a full body with firm, silky tannins. Tight and linear. Beautiful now.


Wine Enthusiast (2014) - 92 pts

Aromas of leather, flint, toast, menthol and exotic spice come together in the glass along with a floral note. The full-bodied, firmly structured palate offers mature black cherry marinated in spirits, licorice, and coffee alongside assertive, close-grained tannins and bright acidity. A mineral note closes the finish.

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