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Dirt Club - December

Posted by Johnny Helzer on



I Custodi Etna Bianco 'Ante'

Vintage: 2014

Soil: Sandy Volcanic

Place: Mt. Etna, Sicily

For December Dirt Club we are taking a trip to the sandy, volcanic soils of Mt. Etna in Sicily. The first wine is a white from I Custodi, one of a handful of “renaissance” producers bringing a new found glory to this compelling region. The ‘Ante’ (Etna spelled backward) is a delicious blend of indigenous Etna grapes including Carricante (70%), Minnella (15%) and Graciano (15%). These grapes are grown on the Northeastern slopes of Etna, with an average vine age of 40 years. The vineyards are situated as high up as 1200 meters, getting a consistent breeze of salty sea air from the surrounding ocean.

HOW TO

With a delightfully fruity nose full of citrusy anise, and a palate of lemon, spice, and volcanic minerality this wine will absolutely make fish come alive - sushi or otherwise. With a nice chill, the ‘Ante’ will also pair amazingly with our vast selection of Jose Gourmet conservas including our spicy mackerel pate, or sardines in olive oil. Or try it with our new small scallops in Galician sauce from Conservas de Cambados.


 Faro Giuseppina Don' Pippinu Etna Rosso

Vintage: 2013

Soil: Sandy Volcanic

Place: Mt. Etna, Sicily

Our second Dirt selection is a red from Giuseppe Scirto and Valeria Franco, a husband and wife team of winemakers both born and raised near the slopes of Mt. Etna. Giuseppe has had a hand in the family vineyards since he was 5 years old helping his grandfather pick grapes. Valeria also has a long history of farming, producing wine for her family since she was young. Their love for this land shows in every bottle they produce. Their ‘Don’ Pippinu’ is a red blend of mostly Nerello Mascalese with some Nerello Cappuccio rounding it out. This is grown in the Northern plots of Mt. Etna called Fuedo di Mezzo and is fermented with native yeasts in stainless steel tanks, then spends one-year aging in large oak casks.

HOW TO

It is no surprise that this wine does exceptionally well alongside Sicilian cuisine, including game and braised meats or anything with capers, olives, and tomatoes. Hints of tart red fruit on the nose. The palate is full of persistent tannins, fresh acidity, and a rich texture. The long finish has a band of mineral red fruit running throughout.

 


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