Classic & Bargain Sicilians - Terre Nere, Feudo Montoni & Buscemi

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On my most recent visit to Mt Etna I was awestruck by not only it’s beauty but the also the wines that are made in and around this majestic active volcano. Be it Cataratto, Grillo, Rosato or the traditional red varieties of Nerello Mascalese and Nero d’Avola that speak as they should of typicity. The climate of the mountain varies considerably with altitude and aspect. Temperatures decrease with height so that the upper slopes are usually snow covered from October to March. Summers are hot and dry, winters warm and rainy. At a point where the average annual temperature recorded is 20.9°C, the minimum is -4.7°C and the maximum 30°C. The average precipitation is 1,000mm, but unevenly distributed: the sea-facing eastern slopes being wetter, the western being more arid. Mount Etna dominates northeastern Sicily by its great bulk, as the highest mountain of southern Italy or of any Mediterranean island and as the most continuously active volcano in Europe. We do hope you enjoy this wonderful range of wines - spring is just around the corner! Please also scroll to the bottom to see some limited back vintage stock of other Sicilian wines.
Cheers, Jeff

Terre Nere

The wines of Terre Nere give me visceral, hedonistic and intellectual excitement. I have been hooked from my very first taste of the 'basic' Etna Rosso, which I purchased off the wine list at Da Noi's in South Yarra over a decade ago. It was a revelation, like a lovely burgundy, but a little darker with slightly more herb, raspberry, tar, rock and mineral notes, whilst still being silky, perfumed and delicious. These are bottles of great fascination and beauty. For wines that were only first made under this label (albeit from very mature vines) in 2002, they have come a long way, and I can only see the steep trajectory of increased quality, fame, respect and adoration (at least from this humble wine traveller) continuing. 

Cheers, Randall

"No other winery has done as much for the popularity and success of Mount Etna as Terre Nere; nearly any producer in the region will offer up this same opinion. Almost two decades ago, importer Marc de Grazia set out to prove that the high-altitude vineyards, diverse volcanic soils and ancient vines found on this still-active volcano could produce world-class wines of longevity. As a result of his success, a rush of producers from Sicily and abroad have worked to carve out their own piece of Mount Etna over the last ten years." - Eric Guido, Vinous

These wines are expected to arrive August 8!

Terre Nere 2022 Etna Bianco
RRP: $62 | Offer: $53

Terre Nere's Etna Bianco is mostly carricante with smaller parts catarratto, grecanico and insolia in the blend. Marc De Grazia says. "Sicily is a seafood island, so [carricante] makes sense." This vintage has given an Etna Bianco that is clear and invigorating with citrusy freshness and intense, lingering minerality. Best with the fresh catch of the day!

 Terre Nere 2022 Etna Rosato
RRP: $62 | Offer: $53

Marc De Grazia says that he considers rosé a difficult wine to make because, to paraphrase, it is neither fish nor fowl. Creating balance in rosé, he says, is the biggest challenge. The Terre Nere Rosato not only shows deft balance, it also produces freshness and delicate aromas of pink rose and cassis. Two vats are made, one sees malolactic fermentation and the other does not; the two are then blended according to different percentages according to the character of the growing season.

Feudo Montoni

On the day I visited Feudo Montoni I arrived to a secluded 'island' of green organic grapevines reaching as high as 700mt. The surrounding 'sea' of wheat was rippling rhythmically in the sweltering 'sirocco' breeze. Sicilian vignaiolo (vigneron) Fabio Sireci told me that the temperature here in the central valleys of the island drops so much at night that I would need a jumper, even in summer. I witnessed it, the temperature difference from here to the East coast on the same evening was 10C! The cool nights create an excellent environment for life-giving acid retention in the grapes, and of course the warm Mediterranean sunshine provides the ripeness and the generosity of intense flavour. The reds here are beguiling and very high quality; and the amazing grillo is the Chablis of Sicily, except better than many Chablis!

Montoni is a windy site, either the winter 'martini' mistraele (cold, strong and dry) or the summery 'sirocco' ensure that organic viticulture is more successful here than in many other places. Fabio says that the estate has always been organic, and his family has owned it since 1700! Elsewhere in the fields the family grows various legumes and heirloom grains, alternating season by season, to help biodiversity.
Cheers, Randall

"Fabio's fruit stands tall above his peers in terms of distinctiveness and quality. If you are looking to try excellent Sicilian wines, Feudo Montoni is one of the very best."
Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

"Owner Fabio Sireci has created one of Sicily’s best wine estates, where each wine produced is easily the best or one of the best in its respective category... The two Nero d’Avolas are especially noteworthy, but the Grillo and the Perricone also have few, if any, peers."
Ian d'Agata, Vinous

These wines are expected to arrive August 8!

Feudo Montoni 2021 Catarratto 'del Masso'
RRP: $43 | Offer: $37

"The Feudo Montoni 2021 Sicilia Catarratto Masso (with a logo that affirms organic certification on the back label) has fresh fruit and citrus with honeydew melon and chopped mint or thyme. This is silky and mildly creamy on the palate." 89pts - Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate

Feudo Montoni 2022 Grillo 'della Timpa'
RRP: $47 | Offer: $39

"The most succulent ripe peach aromas complemented by hints of tangerine and fresh mint waft up from the 2021 Grillo Timpa. It is round and fleshy in feel, with sweet inner florals up front that give way to tropical melon and exotic spice. While a bit extroverted in character, there’s plenty of stimulating acidity and sour citrus tones within to maintain fabulous balance. The 2021 leaves the palate completely refreshed with hints of kiwi and lime zest that linger. This really packs a punch, yet it never gets cloying or tiring." 91pts - Eric Guido, Vinous

Feudo Montoni 2022 Rosato 'Rose di Adele'
RRP: $47 | Offer: $39

100% Nerello Mascalese
"The 2022 Rosé Nerello Mascalese di Adele opens with a pleasantly sweet bouquet that blends green melon with gingery spice and candied citrus. It washes across the palate with its silken textures, neatly contrasted by mineral-tinged fruits and brisk acidity. The 2022 tapers off crunchy and wildly fresh, leaving behind a hint of lemon oil." 91pts - Eric Guido, Vinous

Feudo Montoni 2021 Nero d'Avola 'Lagnusa'
RRP: $43 | Offer: $37

"In a cloud of crushed violet candies, sugar-dusted currants and hints of sage evolve, making the 2020 Nero d’Avola Lagnusa a total aromatic pleasure. Soft-textured and round, this impresses further with ripe red and blue-toned fruits, complemented by sweet spice over a core of vibrant acidity. The Lagnusa finishes remarkably fresh yet long, leaving the mouth watering while still resonating on hints of blackberry and a bitter twang of sour citrus." 92pts - Eric Guido, Vinous

Buscemi - Over 20% off!

Previous vintages of these blazingly hot wines wowed critics such as Antonio Galloni & Gary Walsh, and these wines below are even more brightly fruited, freshly mineral, and suffused with that Sicilian 'sunniness' that makes them dangerously drinkable. These wines fall into the 'Sicilia' IGT region as the vines, at nearly 1km above sea level, are too high in elevation for Etna DOC/G classification. The combination of the extraordinarily high altitude site, old vines (90+ years!) which Mirella Buscemi has nursed into stunningly good health after purchasing the vineyard a few years ago, and her care and attention to detail after years training as a chemist ensure that these are pure and intense wines of great character and charm!
Cheers, Randall
 

These wines are in stock and available for immediate dispatch or collection!

Buscemi 2020 Sicilia DOC 'Il Bianco'
RRP: $89 | Offer: $69

"An Etna Bianco with exceptional mineral drive and elegant floral aromatics. The nose is all about the minerality - crushed rocks and sea-breeze waft over a core of white orchard fruits, with touches of spicy ginger in the background. The palate is beautifully lush and rounded - ripe pear, almond, white flowers all vie for attention with a slight touch of saline minerality on the close. Very refreshing - just needs spaghetti alle vongole or grilled sardines!" - Randall

Buscemi 2020 Sicilia DOC 'Il Rosso'
RRP: $55 | Offer: $39

"Really pretty and lifted, just about all you could want from an 'entry level' Etna Rosso. Raspberries and rose petals abound on the nose, followed by a palate with similar notes together with fresh, tart cherries and hints of blood orange. The wine finishes with fine powdery tannins and a drying, food-friendly close. Really delicious." - Randall

Buscemi 2020 Sicilia DOC 'Tartaraci Rosso'
RRP: $55 | Offer: $39

"90 year old vines and rich volcanic soils combine here to produce a wine of serious concentration and structure, all the while remaining charmingly beautiful and 'sunny'. Rose petals and dried orange peel aromas drift from the glass, together with wild raspberries and bright, slightly dusty notes of cherries and minerals. Texturally, this is absolutely silken in the mouth, with just a hint of drying and structuring fine tannins on the close. All manner of bright and slightly sour cherries and raspberries wash over the palate, together with salty liquorice, spice notes (cloves and cardamom), and minerally/earthy touches. Really vibrant and beautiful." - Randall


2 products

2 products