Red wines produced in the Mt. Etna region of Sicily are volcanic, elegant and fruit-forward. Its star grape varietal, Nerello Mascalese, is similar to Pinot Noir but offers distinctive flavors of red fruits integrated with earth, granite, and stony minerals.
Here are eight robust Sicilian red wines to try.
Graci 2018 Arcuria Rosso (Etna); $41, 97 points. Radiant and fragrant, this beautiful wine opens with mesmerizing aromas of rose petal, perfumed berries, Mediterranean scrub and graphite. All about energy and finesse, the delicious, focused palate features raspberry compote, blood orange, star anise and tangy mineral. Polished tannins provide lithe, elegant support while bright acidity keeps it well-balanced. Drink through 2028. Massanois Imports. Editors’ Choice. —Kerin O’Keefe
Giovanni Rosso 2018 Rosso (Etna); $35, 93 points. Made predominantly with Nerello Mascalese and a small percentage of other native grapes, this lithe, lovely red has alluring aromas of Mediterranean scrub, wild berry, hay and eucalyptus. Linear and all about finesse, the savory palate features crushed strawberry, pomegranate and star anise while a vein of saline mineral notes adds depth. Polished tannins provide elegant support while bright acidity keeps it balanced. Vias Imports. Editors’ Choice. —K.O.
Girolamo Russo 2018 San Lorenzo Rosso (Etna); $70, 93 points. Aromas of red berries, Mediterranean scrub, damp earth and floral notes waft out of the glass. Elegant to the point of being ethereal, the vibrant, tangy palate offers juicy wild cherry, blood orange, spice and saline alongside lithe tannins. Bright acidity keeps it balanced. Drink through 2026. Oliver McCrum Wines. —K.O.
Tenuta delle Terre Nere 2019 Rosso (Etna); $25, 93 points. Loaded with finesse, this lovely red has aromas of sun-warmed flint, camphor, Mediterranean herb and woodland berry. Savory and mineral-driven, the elegant is both lithely structured, featuring strawberry compote, pomegranate, star anise and savory saline notes alongside taut, fine-grained tannins. Skurnik Wines, Inc. —K.O.
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Gambino 2017 Petto Dragone Rosso (Etna); $60, 91 points. Aromas of scorched earth, coconut and toasted nuts mingle with dried violet and ripe berries. On the rather concentrated palate, close-grained tannins accompany fleshy blackberry, pomegranate and licorice. Total Wine & More. —K.O.
Tornatore 2017 Trimarchisa Rosso (Etna); $85, 91 points. Made with 95% Nerello Mascalese and 5% Nerello Cappuccio, this has aromas of underbrush, ripe berries, new leather and eucalyptus. The brawny palate offers blackberry jam, dried Morello cherry and star anise alongside assertive, close-grained tannins and the heat of evident alcohol. It closes on a saline note. LUX Wines. —K.O.
Terra Costantino 2019 de Aetna Rosso (Etna); $27, 91 points. Lithe and fragrant, this linear red has aromas of crushed herbs, juicy woodland berries and whiffs of scorched earth. The savory, vibrant palate features crushed raspberry, orange zest, cocoa and saline alongside polished tannins. Drink through 2023. Banville Wine Merchants. —K.O.
Monteleone 2019 Qubba Rosso (Etna); $45, 90 points. Aromas of dried botanical herbs, eucalyptus and spice lift out of the glass. The taut, linear palate offers blood orange, Morello cherry, licorice and coffee bean alongside close-grained tannins that grip the close. Lyra Wine. —K.O.
Palmento Costanzo 2017 Nero di Sei Rosso (Etna); $28, 90 points. A blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio, this opens with aromas of French oak, wild mint and flint. Reflecting the nose and the hot vintage, the linear palate features dried cherry, blood orange, toasted nuts and star anise before a tangy, saline close. Tightly wound, fine-grained tannins provide lithe support. Artisanal Cellars. —K.O.
Pietradolce 2020 Rosso (Etna); $25, 90 points. This linear red has aromas suggesting Mediterranean scrub, red berries and a whiff of camphor. Bright and savory, the lithe palate offers raspberry compote, star anise and a hint of rusty nail before dusty tannins appear and leave a drying close. Empson USA Ltd. —K.O.
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