Carlo Ferrini, who has been visiting Sicily as a winemaker for over 15 years, could not resist falling under the fascination of Mount Etna and its main grape variety, Nerello Mascalese. Such was the beginning of Alberelli di Giodo, a wine whose first vintage was 2016. The vineyard is little more than a hectare, growing at 950 metres on the volcano’s slopes, extraordinary pre-phylloxera vines 80- 100 years old that are trained to the traditional low-bush alberello style.
The elevation and northern aspect are ideal for Nerello Mascalese, and the black, pomace-rich soils yield wines with utterly distinctive body and fruit. Alberelli di Giodo matures 12 months in small 5-hl French oak casks. The result is a wine of extreme refinement that displays to a remarkable degree the minerality classic to its volcano growing-area. On its label too is the grape-variety figure, but here he represents Nerello Mascalese, and on Etna’s summit he holds up by himself the world, because he interprets, undiluted, the vineyards of Etna.
Lovely, gentle nose. Really pretty, lovely floral lift and then more leafy and a whiff of dried herbs. Palate is deep and intense. Firmish feel – deep, dark fruit – but plum-skin pep too and gorgeous morello cherry bite. Sculpted core of gorgeously firm fruit. Such incredible detail and nuance. and fine lines. Gorgeous tiny fine tannins push all through this and drive it all on.
- Vineyard Surface: 1.5 hectares
- Age of Vines: 80 years
- Altitude: 950 MASL
- Exposure: North
- Soil: Volcanic
- Vine training systems: Alberello
- Density: 5,000 plants per hectare
- Yield per Hectare: 50 quintals/ha
- Fermentation: 7 days in steel and cement tanks and 20 days of skin contact
- Aging: about 12 months in wooden barrels
- Alcohol: 14%
- Total Acidity: 6.20 g/L
- Production: 6,000 bottles/year
“From celebrated winemaker Carlo Ferrini, the Alberelli di Giodo 2016 Sicilia Nerello Mascalese marks a beautiful inaugural performance for what promises to be a name to watch on Etna. This wine shows power and depth with radiant fruit tones. Wild raspberry and cassis segue to tar, smoke and crushed volcanic stone. The wine shows some of the leanness that is characteristic of this vintage, yet it also delivers enough drive and power to maintain high and exciting momentum. Congratulations, Carlo.” 94+ points, Monica Larner, Wine Advocate