Etna Nerello Blends

10 top picks from a recent blind tasting


2006 Etna Rocca d’Api Zero1 Rosso Nerello Mascalese Nerello Cappuccio, $20

A bit rubbery and earthy on the nose with a fine base of wild complex, spicy black fruits that are framed with tarry notes. Thick in the mouth and slick at first, then quite refined with deep dark cherry fruit and austere yet covered tannins. This finishes with good energy and power to the savory, leathery flavors. Intriguing wine. I would like to spend more time with this. 90pts

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2009 Graci Etna Rosso Nerello Mascalese, $25

Very delicate and perfumed on the nose with red fruits, a touch of peachy sweetness, topped with beguiling spice and mineral notes. Delicate in the mouth with juicy, relatively high acids and lightly exposed ripe tannins, giving this a very lively feel. A bit rustic with aromatic, if simple, red fruits that yield to slightly drying tannins on the modest finish. 88pts

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2008 Tenuta di Fessina Laeneo Nerello Cappuccio, $20

Sweetly herbal on the nose with some quinine and mint accenting slightly backed fruit that has a rainwater top note. Full on entry with fine purity of red fruits and soft tannins. The mid-palate shows a bit of the backed quality of the nose, with a cherry juice tone that extends across the finish. This turns out to be texturally very seductive with a rich softness that many will find very appealing, though the flavors lack some intensity. 88pts

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2008 Tasca d’Almerita Tascante Nerello Mascalese, $40

Fruity and slightly tropical on the nose, as well as pencil lead woody with a lilac top note. Slick on entry, then drying on the palate with tons of fruit and good supporting acidity. Powerful tannins that seem a bit extracted emerge on the back end and turn bitter on the finish. This is painfully tannic, yet it shows good potential. 88pts

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2008 Tenuta di Fessina Il Musmeci Nerello Mascalese Nerello Cappuccio, $60

Grapily youthful; with a gummi bear quality to the nose but also sowing niotes of laurel, talc, orange oil and spicy red fruits. Soft if fresh in the mouth with a broad, easy mid-palate. The flavors are slightly savory with an autumnal suggestion to the astringent red fruits. The finish is short with stemmy tannins that add a savory spice note. 87pts

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Want to learn more?

Read on for more of our top Nerello blend picks:

More Nerello Blends

And check out these related articles:

Italian Wines to Buy Today

Wine 101 - Sicily



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  • Snooth User: Wines of Argentina
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    545727 211

    Excellent note and very good selection of wines of Etna. When I was in Sicily to visit, I fell in love with Nero D 'Avola until they drank the Etna Rosso also seduced me. So I can say that I have two loves in Sicily!.
    I'm surprised that the selection is not the "Petra Lava" ( An exceptional wine from Etna, Sicily.


    Apr 21, 2011 at 4:43 PM

  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    ...Great Greg now you have to try "a' Puddara" from Tenuta di Fessina!
    (Carricante 100%)....
    You may also find very interesting some wines from Tuscany from Villa Petriolo....(same winemaker of Fessina)....if you want i can tell you more, but remember when you were talking about "Bevibilità" or "drinkability"...

    Apr 22, 2011 at 2:31 AM

  • Snooth User: lvcm
    562523 1

    If you will pardon my spelling due to the long time that has passed since I savored this excellent Sicilian wine.. I believe its SARAPRUTTA ?? or the likes of it. PLEASE ENLIGHTEN ME ON THE spelling AND YOUR INFO. ON THIS WINE THAT KEEPS COMING BACK TO ME LIKE A "Lost Love Affair" !! one of your most ardent fans. Lou

    Apr 22, 2011 at 7:59 AM

  • Snooth User: bill2810
    94571 22

    Pardon me for raining on the parade folks but, Greg, these descriptions of wines from a 2nd tier region made from 2nd tier grapes is as pompous and overly-inflated a presentation as the one you did on how to purchase wine in a restaurant.

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Sicilian wines but these are good, solid drinking wines, some aspiring to something better. They're not 93 pts - 88pts "dry floral," "white pepper" "powerful finish" wines. (By the way, what the hell is the taste difference between white pepper and black...especially when hidden in a bottle of grapes?!!).

    I sense the bombastic descriptions and outrageously high rankings must be designed to support the ridiculous prices for these wines. Nerello Capuccio wines uniformly selling at $50, $40 and $30+ per bottle?! As the Italians would say, "Incredibile!"

    Apr 22, 2011 at 8:29 AM

  • Snooth User: luca chevalier
    Hand of Snooth
    533661 2,535

    ...Its Duca di Salaparuta...but this is the name if the producer, i don't know if they have something from etna.. you will maybe find somethig Here....

    Apr 22, 2011 at 9:42 AM

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