Contrade dell'Etna 2018 – a riveting scrum


Contrade dell’Etna, the annual en primeur presentation of Etna wines which took place last April just below Europe’s largest and still active volcano, provided me with one of the earliest insights into Italy’s complicated 2017 vintage. It is Italy’s only real en primeur tasting with all red wines still in cask rather than bottled. The wines were so embryonic that quite a few still had to complete malolactic conversion when I tasted them in April.

Last summer set a new record for high temperatures in Italy, but was preceded by an icy front in mid April that caused widespread damage...