Red Wine

Nerello Cappuccio

Nerello Cappuccio is typically blended with Nerello Mascelese as the minor component.

Typically wines made from the Nerellos exude an entrancing perfume with a delicacy, elegance, and, sophistication that carries through to the palate.

Where is it grown?

With vineyards from 400-1100m in elevation.

Wines of Nerello Mascelese and Nerello Cappuccio have been called the Barolo of the South by some, Italy’s Burgundy by others. I prefer to call them, simply, great wines from Etna.

Indigenous to the Etna region, Nerrello meaning Black and Mascelese derived from Mascali, a commune to the east of Etna. Research indicates it is possibly a cross between Sangiovese and Mantonico Bianco. That parentage would make it a sibling of Gaglioppo from Calabria. The full parentage in any number of different varieties have yet to be determined.  Commercial Nerello Mascelese plantings often include several unidentified varieties. Some genetic work suggests Nerello Mascelese could be related to the white grape Carricante.

Nerello Mascelese is typically the dominant of the two varieties when blended with Nerello Cappuccio. I’ve only once had the opportunity to try a 100% Nerello Cappuccio from Calabretta. The tannins by comparison to their Nerello Mascelese dominant wines are a little more supple and fine. The core of fruit is again epic, an edge more immediately generous. There is a sense of purity about this wine. It had an edge more generous and round fruit. You can easily see a blend benefiting from this.

We are also seeing the introduction of other varieties to the hill. Like Buscemi’s Contrada ‘Tarataci’, SRC’s ‘Rivaggi’ is blended with Grenache, their Etna Rosso with Sangiovese, the Alberello (which translates to bush vine) being the only 100% Nerello wine.

If you take a short trip from Etna to Faro, with only 35 acres of vines for the entire appellation, located on the North East tip of the island, Casematte are making excellent blends. Their top wine the ‘Faro’ blends Nerello Mascelese wines blended with Nerello Cappuccio, Nocciola, and Nero d’Avola.  The level of intrigue is off-tap, such complexity and harmony. I was fortunate enough to devour one a week ago. Accidentally leaving a half glass in the bottle proved I should have been more patient. The wine went to the next level with 24 hours of air! The Nocciola adds a degree of richness and generosity without overwhelming the Nerello. Somewhat like the Grenache in SRC’s Rivaggi. Casematte’s second wine the Peloro blends Nerello Mascelese with Nocciola and is a triumph.

In a nutshell, with varieties suited to the climate, old vines, and, good vineyard management there’s plenty of good material to work with. As lovers of delicious beverages, we got to watch, play, and, drink as the those who labour on the slopes of Etna and Faro strive to make even more exceptional wines.

What does it taste like?

Whilst Nerello Mascelese’s enormous bunches, with their big berries, result in wines of a relatively pale appearance, there is nothing insignificant about their aromas, flavours, and, textures.

The lower lying vineyards tend to yield bolder styles, while the higher sites offer greater restraint often being quite ethereal. Texturally the tannins often remind of a more supple Barolo.

You can read more about the wines of Etna in the Wine Bites Mag article ‘Getting Your Head Around Sicily’s Mount Etna’

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Tenutta Fessina Erse Rosso 2018

Excellent, dominantly Nerello Mascelese, slatey/silky tannins, lovely texture. Excellent set of flavours with fresh red countered with a dark edge. There is more to come here given a year or two to evolve. Looks like neutral large oak maturation. Hints of olives, woody herbs and an edge of spice. Nerello Mascalese 90%, Nerello Cappuccio 8%, Minnella, Carricante 2%
$49
$46ea in any 3+
$43ea in any 6+
Lava Juice!

Buscemi ‘Il Rosso’ 2019

Buscemi's 'Il Rossoi' is much more than just the perfect light to medium bodied summer red!
$50
$47ea in any 3+
$44ea in any 6+
The Pink Link 🌹

Terre Nere Etna Rosato 2019

100% Nerello Mascalese Rosé is just so much fun!
$51
$49ea in any 3+
$47ea in any 6+
Lava Juice!

Buscemi ‘Il Rosso’ 2018

Buscemi's 'Il Rossoi' is much more than just the perfect light to medium bodied summer red!
$51
$48ea in any 3+
$45ea in any 6+
Wonderful Perfume!

Terre Nere Etna Rosso 2019

A Ripper from Marco!
$53
$51ea in any 3+
$49ea in any 6+

Girolamo Russo ‘a Rina Etna Rosso 2019

With fruit sourced from the Contradas of San Lorenzo, Feudo and Calderara Sottana there is some serious pedigree to the vineyards and it shows in the wine!
$58
$55ea in any 3+
$52ea in any 6+
🌋A Star is Born 🌠

Famiglia Statella Etna Rosso ‘Pettinociarelle’ 2018

The Personal Project of Terre Nere winemaker Calogero Statella & Around the Corner from Passopisciaro! Just so plush and delicious!
$85
$81ea in any 3+
$77ea in any 6+
Lava Juice!

Buscemi Contrada Tartaraci Rosso 2019

Buscemi's 'Tartaraci' is blended with a splash of Grenache
$86
$82ea in any 3+
$78ea in any 6+

Terre Nere Santo Moganazzi Rosso D.O.C. 2018

The latest Contrada from Terre Nere!
$109
$104ea in any 3+
$99ea in any 6+

Terre Nere ‘Santo Feudo di Mezzo’ Rosso D.O.C. 2018

The Feudo di Mezzo from Terre Nere has more immediate generosity. Showing more of itself earlier than higher vineyards of Santo Spirito and Guardiola
$109
$104ea in any 3+
$99ea in any 6+
Right next to Guardiola

Terre Nere Santo Spirito Etna Rosso D.O.C. 2018

Sophistication, perfectly ripe yet not over ripe fruit. Very much in the mould of the Guardiola and Rampante Contrada!
$109
$104ea in any 3+
$99ea in any 6+
Delicious

Terre Nere ‘Santo Guardiola’ Rosso D.O.C. 2018

The highest altitude of Marco's vineyard makes for an elegant wine! Always a favourite!
$109
$104ea in any 3+
$99ea in any 6+

Terre Nere Santo Moganazzi Rosso D.O.C. 2019

The latest Contrada from Terre Nere!
$109
$104ea in any 3+
$99ea in any 6+

Girolamo Russo ‘Calderara Sottana’ Etna Rosso 2019

The soil here is easily recognizable as it is by far the rockiest of all the Crus . The ground is covered by small light black volcanic pumice rocks and is some of the oldest and 'purest ' as well as poorest soils on Etna. This is very rare and only appears in two of all the Cru's .. Calderara Sottana and partially San Lorenzo. "Really enticing nose with rich and ripe berries, tinged with notes of bright spice, truffley mushrooms and fresh flowers. Hint of orangey freshness, too. Medium-bodi
$130
$125ea in any 3+
$120ea in any 6+

Girolamo Russo ‘San Lorenzo’ Etna Rosso 2019

This is delicious, rounder generosity that San Lorenzo offers is there yet again there is a delicacy and harmony. Very together, lovely fine acid and depth of tannin here. Still in the red fruited spectrum there is an excellent presence about this. 12 ha between 700 and 800m altitude, some 100-year old bush-vines, some new plantings which have been self-propagated from the old ones . The soil is a younger layer of volcanic rock approximately 2,500 years old on Giuseppe's area . San Lo
$130
$125ea in any 3+
$120ea in any 6+

Terre Nere Santo Calderara Sottana Etna Rosso D.O.C. 2019

One of Terre Nere's 3 Grand Cru's, the Pre-phylloxera vineyard sits within this one! It's a bold, delicious interpretation of Nerello.
$140
$135ea in any 3+
$130ea in any 6+