Red fire and passion
LE SABBIE DELL'ETNA
Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio
Le Sabbie dell’Etna Rosso, together with its white variant, is the forerunner of Firriato’s many decades of wine production on Etna. Wines from the Cavanera Etnea Estate form part of the elite by birth and are dedicated to exclusivity. They are labels considered for and dedicated to the most demanding wine-lovers. Le Sabbie dell’Etna Rosso comes to the glass with a delicious and complex bouquet with notes of cinnamon, black pepper, blackcurrant and cherries in alcohol. Only the extraordinary terroir of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the slopes of Europe’s largest active volcano, could yield a wine with such great personality. The estate’s volcanic soils are distinguished by their high nutrient content of phosphorous, which determines the sugar content in the must; manganese, which increases the plants’ resistance to the cold; and iron, which contributes to the black grapes’ pigmentation, giving the native vine varieties of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio their bright ruby red colour.
Le Sabbie dell’Etna Rosso, together with its white variant, is the forerunner of Firriato’s many decades of wine production on Etna. Wines from the Cavanera Etnea Estate form part of the elite by birth and are dedicated to exclusivity. They are labels considered for and dedicated to the most demanding wine-lovers.”Approfondisci”
- Appellation: Etna DOC
- Vine: Nerello Cappuccio, Nerello Mascalese
- Terroir: mountain
- Soil: Loamy – sandy of volcanic origin, highly draining
- Exposure: north-east (700 mt. a.s.l)
Tenuta di Cavanera Etnea
The north-eastern slope of Etna, where the Cavanera Estate is located, has predominantly sandy soil, composed of extremely fine particles that give it a loose structure, marked by its considerable fertility and high concentration of nutrients.
Le Sabbie dell'Etna Rosso
Etna and Nerello Mascalese, a thousand-year old union
The Spanish viceroyalty of Sicily coincided with Charles V ascension to the Spanish throne in 1516, and it is he who is thought to be responsible for the spread of Nerello Mascalese. Together with Niccolò Caracciolo, the Bishop of Catania, he decided to transform Piana di Mascali in Contea and one of the first steps he took was to place the land owned by the Curia at the disposal of the vine growers. Nerello vines, therefore, started to spread across the Etna countryside and today, thanks to their organoleptic properties and ageing capability, they are the emblem for oenology performed on the slopes of Etna.
LE SABBIE DELL'ETNA ROSSO
The characteristics of vintages
Grape harvest achieved extraordinary results on the Etna volcano. Cool summer with reduced rainfalls set ideal conditions for obtaining quality grapes. Grape harvest began about a week earlier than usual and ended about a week earlier on schedule, avoiding the rains of October. Although quantity production is along with vintage 2015, quality has increased, offering more aromatic whites with excellent freshness. Nerello Mascalese grapes have released bright colourful wines without any alcohol excess while the base wine used for the classic method presented higher level of malic acid compared to vintage 2015. Harvest period of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes: second part of October
The winter was hard with heavy rainfall, also the spring was very rainy with temperatures below the seasonal average, this has led to a budding more late. Excellent was the vegetative growth of the high temperatures of May and June have exploited for a splendid flowering followed by a good fruit set. The hailstorm that hit June 9 reported fortunately little damage limited to vegetation. A health standard the year was presented with great, with healthy grapes, without pests.
The heavy rains of August and the temperature lowering did think of a difficult harvest, instead they created a reservoir of water that allowed to arrive in September with a good vitality in plants. In general it was very interesting vintage with a very high standards.
Weather conditions are crucial to produce quality grapes. After spring and beginning summer rains, temperatures gradually come to seasonal average with no heat peaks. Finally, we come back to typical Etna vintage. September rainfalls trigger concerns making us think about a difficult vintage. However , the prophetic picking month of October is clement, with sunny days and no rains enable to bring healthy grapes with well- balanced leaf surface/production ratio (1 square foot of leaf surface per 1 kilo of grapes), into the winery.
The year showed to be fruitful. Either regarding the quantity, and definitely regarding the quality “very interesting wines regarding the aromatic profile” had been obtained. Because of the climate, the harvest lasted till the last week of October. The year 2013 gave a slower harvest and then a gradual maturation.
The run of vines growing season, during the flowering and fruit setting, has been pretty regular. Anomalies during veraison and ripening phases were not present. The harvest of white, early varieties, has started earlier than the previous year. Lucifer, Charon and this summer’s other African anticyclones have been a blessing for the vintage, “an exceptional year regarding the quality”.
The weather conditions were fairly stable, resulting in a winter with average temperatures and less rainfall compared to previous years. Rainfall was plentiful during the spring months, preparing the vines well as they went on to produce healthy grapes of optimum ripeness. However, the harvest, which was performed by hand during the middle and last third of October, recorded a drop in production of 15% due to reduced bunch size.
The labourers of Mount Etna prepared to harvest the autochthonous Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes from the start of October. The climate in 2010 was distinguished by a winter with average temperatures and scarce rainfall and a mild and not very wet spring. The dry summer season hinted that the fruit may not match up to its usual level of perfection, but thanks to timely rainfalls at the end of September, the harvest did not fail to meet expectations.
Bud break occurred later than in previous years thanks to the favourable weather conditions in 2009. Autumn was distinguished by fairly wintry weather and abundant rainfall, which was also frequent in the spring. The growth of the vines slowed down considerably during this first stage and then proceeded as normal in the very warm and humid summer months.
Thanks to unstable weather conditions, with rainfall that was scarce in the winter and abundant in spring, 2007 was not an excellent year. This affected the production in terms of quantity, with a reduction of 35% compared to the previous year.
It was a relatively good year, starting with favourable weather conditions for bud break, which occurred earlier than forecasted, slowing down towards the end in spring due to abundant rainfall, which affected plant growth whilst preserving the goodness.
LE SABBIE DELL'ETNA ROSSO
James Suckling: 91 pts
Vinous: 90 pts
Wine Enthusiast: 89 pts
Robert Parker Wine Advocate: 89 pts
Wine Spectator: 88 pts
Luigi Veronelli: 1 flower
Robert Parker: 89 pts
Robert Parker: 90 pts
Annuario dei Migliori Vini Italiani: 88 pts- The best producer of the year
Luigi Veronelli: 3 red stars
Duck Breast in Orange Sauce
Mix together the orange juice, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil; add the 4 pieces of duck breast and leave to marinate for about an hour. Meanwhile, peel and rinse the potatoes. Cut them into wedges. Place a casserole dish on the heat with 3 fingers of water and place a steamer over the top; add the potato wedges and steam for 12 minutes with the lid on. Take them off the heat and set aside somewhere to keep them warm.