Etna Rosso Arcuria 2016 Calcagno tasting notes and review of a great Nerello Mascalese
Talking about an elegant and evocative red wine like Etna Rosso DOC Arcuria 2016 from Calcagno winery is always a pleasure, one of those duties that you are happy to do. But the pleasure comes from its great frankness, that unique bond that manages to develop with the unique Etna terroir. Or more precisely with the Arcuria cru, from which the name of the wine.
We are in Passopisciaro, a place now famous for the stellar quality of its Nerello Mascalese, at an altitude of 650 meters above sea level. Practically it is a mountain wine, we could define it as a “heroic wine” for the extreme conditions that dominate in this piece of land, where splendid vineyards of Nerello grow. But don’t think about a vineyard planted a few years ago, 20 or 30 years ago. Nope, this vineyard is a monument to Sicilian wine, since the vineyards are between 70 and 90 years old. The yields are naturally low and the soils, with a sandy lava base, are a fundamental element in the composition of the flavor of this fine wine. They infuse minerality, that incredible dry and rocky heat, bordering on the peat, that only volcanic soils can give to the wine.
How Etna Rosso Arcuria 2016 Calcagno was born
Long maceration, fermentation in steel and then left to age in barriques for 12 months, before the final rest in the bottle.
The bouquet of Etna Rosso Arcuria 2016 Calcagno
The nose is a whirlwind of small red and black fruits, crazy balsamic hints with cedar, spices, eucalyptus. The tone is elegant, whispered, austere with hints of aromatic herbs, sea salt, seaweed, and licorice. There are no burrs or stylizations due to the wood, on the contrary, the vine emerges with great frankness.
What does Etna Rosso Arcuria 2016 Calcagno taste like?
On the palate, it adheres to the nose, same precision, same elegance and it moves with a quick, straight step, with an impressive salty progression. Salt, sea and a thousand marine flavors mingle with other more “lavic” suggestions, without having that burnt flavor that took the breath away from many Etna wines. The time of burnt wines is over, indeed, here is the finesse of the austere fruit to emerge, there is all the brightness of Sicily. Do not think about a shady wine: quite the opposite. The structure and thickness of the wine are not indifferent, yet the drinkability and pleasantness are excellent. It is a wine that opens your mouth, flows smoothly, invites you to drink, seducing you with this a complexity easy to decipher, but intoxicating. The tannic propulsion invites but does not bite the palate, although they are ambitious.
In conclusion, this wine is a worthy son of Etna, succeeds in the difficult attempt to combine balance, elegance, depth and the juice of the incredible Etna terroir. A symbol of the Mediterranean wine: now is ready, but within 4 years it will be perfect.
Price of Etna Rosso Arcuria 2016 Calcagno
22 euros: not bad.
Etna Rosso Arcuria 2016 Calcagno food pairings
Structure, acidity, and flavor, this Nerello has everything you need to accompany an infinite number of meat dishes, cold cuts and cheeses with piadina or fried appetizers: baked lasagna, black truffle risotto, passatelli with Parmigiano fondue and truffle, bucatini all’amatriciana, roast beef, hamburger.