Planeta Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese 2019, Sicilia DOC, SRP: $30, abv. 13.7% – The more I drink this grape, the more fascinated I am with its origins and taste.
Nerello Mascalese is one of Mt. Etna’s very own noble red grapes, offering a Pinot Noir-type garnet and ruby color, perfumey aromas, and effusive, layered, red-fruit flaovres.
The dark-skinned varietal gets a lot of its personality from Sicily’s fiery landscape.
Nerello Mascalese thrives on the slopes of the famous volcano which, in 1614, shook the earth with a legendary eruption (“eruzione”) that lasted a decade – hence the name of Planeta’s distinctive wine.
Planeta, one of Siciliy’s leading wine and olive oil producers, built its Feudo di Mezzo winery in 2008, selecting a spot at the head of a 15th century lava flow for the main structure.
Its “Sciaranuova” vineyard site is perched on Etna’s northern slope, 2,700 feet above sea level in the hilltop Castiglione district. Vines grow in black lava sands rich in minerals- a unique terroir that yields notes of iron, earth and chalky notes in Nerello Mascalese wines.
All Planeta vineyards, which are located in five Sicilian territories, rely on sustainable farming methods to preserve the natural habitat.
Eruzione 1614 is a wonderfully textured, medium-bodied wine of authentic notes. It’s a pleasure to drink with a range of foods, but is at its best when paired with grilled meats, venison, aged cheeses, and pasta dishes accompanied by ragu` sauces.
A properly cellared bottle should last up to a decade, according to the winemaker’s notes.
In my view, Nerello Mascalese’s popularity is definitely going to increase in America as more wine drinkers become familiar with its elegant structure and complex notes. Eruzione 1614 is a quality wine and representative of the care and attention to detail that Mt. Etna vintners are putting into their products while building a global reach. It would wise to get on the Planeta train right now.