A Volcano of Flavor

It’s #TravelTuesday, and my next planned vacation isn’t until June, so I’m traveling via my glass to Sicily with this 2014 Alta Mora Feudo di Mezzo Etna Rosso.

Alta Mora is a winery from the Cusumano family where grapes are grown and harvested on the slopes of the active volcano, Mt. Etna, in Sicily. The Cusumano brothers had always longed to build a winery among the black, fertile, and dynamic soils of the volcano. The Alta Mora name represents the great heights of the vineyards on the mountain and the dark, black volcanic soil. The volcano itself is nearly 11,000 feet high, so the vineyards are planted up to 4,000 feet.

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This wine is 100% Nerello Mascalese grapes (yes, a new varietal for me), which are indigenous to Sicily and the predominant red grape of Mt. Etna. Many wine enthusiasts compare this wine to a Nebbiolo or Pinot Noir. The vines are 80 years old and were harvested manually, with only 5,685 bottles being produced.

The wine was medium garnet red in color with a peppery, tobacco, black fruit, and dried herb nose. It tasted of dark cherries with a nice brightness and soft tannins. I paired it with a steak, roasted vegetables, and sautéed spinach and radish. You can find it online from $25-30.

Check out some of my other Cusumano reviews here:

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