From €13.50, $17.99, 129 Swedish krone, 1,010 roubles, £85 a dozen in bond
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Here's a rosé to drink in a snowstorm, so solid, intriguing and comforting is it. It's made by Marc De Grazia in his dramatic, low-yielding vineyards on the slopes of Mount Etna, the not-so-extinct volcano that is home to so much winemaking energy at the moment. See my free Etna - the Burgundy of the Mediterranean these recent mouthwatering profiles on Purple Pages by our Italian specialist Walter Speller:
Etna - should it be DOCG?
Etna - a change in the rules
Etna's endangered yeasts
Some Etna classics
Foti of Etna revisited
It's made mainly from the characteristic grape of Etna, Nerello Mascalese, which is in any case known for its relatively pale colour, with a little of the softer Nerello Cappuccio, the vines having been planted in 1927 and 1947 on the northern slopes at elevations of between 650 and 900 metres. It's no wonder this wine has a certain elegance about it, but the age of the vines and the volcanic soils imbue it with massive character and earthiness - and you can also taste the warmth of that volcano.
As we explain in Wine Grapes
, DNA profiling has shown that Nerello Mascalese is probably the progeny of Sangiovese and a sibling of the haunting Gaglioppo of Ciro in Calabria.
This is a firmly dry wine with some real texture to it. You could drink it without food, and might want to in mid summer, but I'd suggest it as a fine friend at the table too. Alcohol level is a reasonably moderate 13.5% and the wine should last nicely over the next year or two; it's still slightly chewy on the finish. Most unusually, this is a rosé that continues to open up in the glass.
British wine lovers can get their hands on this treasure only by buying it by the case from Justerini & Brooks at £85 a dozen in bond. But it certainly isn't going fall off a cliff the way so many rosés do after a few months in bottle.
According to winesearcher.com this lovely wine is not too difficult to find in the US and it is also available in Belgium, Sweden and Russia. Truly a pink wine for low temperatures.
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