Addy Bassin's MacArthur Beverages

A tour of Etna with Tim Adams

Grab some of these small production gems while you can!

Our Italian wine guru Tim Adams is very passionate about the wines from the incredible volcanic terroir of Mt. Etna. We've seen more and more interest in these wines over the last few years as they are truly unique and offer a much different flavor profile than anywhere else in Italy. Tim wrote some notes below on a few of his favorites and if you haven't explored what these talented growers are doing with the Nerello Mascalese grape you need to check it out!


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2016 Terre Nere - Etna Rosso Santo Spirito

Grown in an outstandingly beautiful location with gentle wide terraces flowing sweetly in striking contrast to steep, craggy Guardiola. Santo Spirito's soil is deep rich volcanic ash, its grass a lush emerald green its vigorous vines displaying a well fed abundance. Santo Spirito's wines are luscious and sensual, always seductive in their almost fleshy bouquet, and in their creamy richness. And yet there's still a balance and a purity there, very sophisticated, but tender, generous and vulnerable at once.
18 Available


Sale $40.99   |   SKU 76030


2016 Terre Nere - Etna Rosso Sottana Calderara

At an elevation of 600-700 m. By far the rockiest cru in the appellation, in the roughest parts you can't see the soil due to the black volcanic pumice carpeting the vineyards. Calderara seems to contain and display one of the widest spectrum of flavors, bouquets, and nuances. Floral and spicy, leathery and aromatic, it delivers a wonderful filling sensation on the palate, yet stepping lightly. One of the most exciting vineyards on mount Etna this terroir can produce some amazing wines.
13 Available


Sale $53.99   |   SKU 76037


2016 Terre Nere - Etna Rosso Feudo di Mezzo

Feudo di Mezzo is composed of very old vines, terraced using traditional alberello plantings, very tightly spaced. Worked exclusively by hand, the vines grow in loose deep volcanic ash roughed up by a good measure of small volcanic pebbles. Aromatic on the bouquet with dark cherry a hint rose and cedar. The palate gives a generous but elegant dark blackberry like fruit marked with hints of anise, and dark earth. While not as challenging on the palate as other high altitude wines there is an understated endurance here that is unique with a nice dark fruited intensity wrapping all the subtle complexity together. I think pairing with food and aging will bring even more complexity out of this already pleasing wine.


Sale $40.99   |   SKU 76032


2016 Passopisciaro - Sicilia Rosso Contrada Guardiola

Between 800 - 900 m altitudes, on very poor soil…volcanic sand mixed with basaltic pebbles and traces of ash. Consistently one of the most elegant offerings, Guardiola achieves a gorgeous bouquet and beautiful balance of acidity and fruit. Bright and savory red fruit combined with cedar, fine herbs and a touch of anise on the palate. The finish is enduring and fine laced with a faint hints of saline, ash and smoke.
8 Available


Sale $57.99   |   SKU 76714


2016 Passopisciaro - Sicilia Rosso Contrada Rampante

Contrada Rampante (R) is the highest cru at 1,000 m above sea level. One of the highest confines of viticulture on the northern side of Etna, Rampante is ancient contrada, producing one of volcano's finest, most aromatic wines because of the sandy character that the lava has acquired. Due to the altitude, it is typically the last contrada to ripen. The fruit gives a truly unique expression of light and dark berries mixed with herbal nuances. Vibrant in acidity notes of tobacco with smoke, anise, and a slight salty dark mineral note on the finish with a surprising mint like subtlety. Exciting not because it is the easy drinker but because the environment causes the grapes to produce a balance of unusual complexity. Certainly a wine to challenge your palate and even more interesting with food pairing.
27 Available


Sale $52.99   |   SKU 76857


2016 Passopisciaro - Sicilia Rosso Contrada Sciaranuova

Contrada Sciaranuova (S) is located at 850 m above sea level. In Sicilian, "sciara nuova" means "new lava flow." The vines here are planted on relatively new lava flow from the 1600s that has turned into thick gravel. The wines produced from this site are bright, aromatic, and have a rich taste of fermented hay and a dusty herbal quality. Grown on one of the higher elevations the wine has a more intense structure to the fruit including elements of licorice, anise, tobacco, and a touch of smoke. I think the characteristics give a sense of power yet the wine has bright acidity and lively core intensity that is a clear expression of its challenging environment.
21 Available


Sale $55.99   |   SKU 77035


2016 Passopisciaro - Sicilia Rosso Contrada Chiappemacine

Contrada Chiappemacine (C) is a small domain at 550 m above sea level. The site produces a more full-bodied, rounder style because it lies on the last of Mount Etna's lava; beneath the thinner strata is a limestone bed to which the vines penetrate. Wine opens with a vibrant cherry and red berry notes mixed with rose and anise hints on the bouquet. The palate carries savory and bright with hints of herbs and a faint touch of cedar on the finish. Harmonious and racy the wines are easier drinking than some other Contrata wines due to lower altitude, terroir and age of vines.
18 Available


Sale $47.99   |   SKU 76713



4877 MacArthur Blvd., N.W.
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