Home > GoodDevelop, Tasting Notes and Wine Reviews > The 2002 Calabretta, Etna Rosso

The 2002 Calabretta, Etna Rosso


During a recent visit to MacArthur Beverages a diverse selection of wine from Williams Corner Wines had literally just been dropped off.  Tim opened several of the boxes and pulled out wines for me to try.  One of them was the 2010 Azienda Vinicola Calabretta, Gaio Gaio.  I enjoyed the wine very much and posted about it here just two weeks ago.  Charles Gendrot of Williams Corner Wines recommended I try the 2002 Etna Rosso as well so I picked up a bottle last week.  For those keeping track I stopped by the store on Saturday as well and will be returning again tomorrow.  Good thing I have plenty of annual leave!

Massimiliano, Image from Calabretta

The Calabretta Etna Rosso is produced from a 7 hectare vineyard of Nerello Mascalese  and Nerello Cappuccio.  This vineyard averages 60-80 years of age with some vines more than 100 years old.  The vineyards are located at 750-800 meters on soils of black, volcanic, stony ground.  The vineyards themselves are terraced with stone walls.  The fruit is harvested in mid-October, destemmed, and fermented in stainless steel using indigenous yeasts.  It undergoes malolactic fermentation then is aged for 36-42 months in 50-75 HL Slavonian oak casks which are located in the underground cellar.

Etna Rosso Vineyard, Image from Calabretta

Some may recollect this wine (or even tasted it!) for it was Eric Asimov’s #1 pick in his February 27th, 2012 article, “Sicilian Reds Harness a Volcano’s Energy”.  According to Massimiliano the 2002 vintage was rainy in September.  With harvest in mid-October the wine turned out with more acidity and lower alcoholic degree than other vintages.  This 2002 Etna Rosso shows more earth, integrated acidity, and ample minerality.  The Gaio Gaio is produced from a young vineyard and shows more red fruit, prominent acidity, and citrus.  Whereas I would drink the Gaio Gaio over the short-term the Etna Rosso at ten years of age is still youthful.  I suspect it should be cellared for several more years for development and should easily last another decade.  Many thanks to Massimiliano for providing the images and answering my numerous questions.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2002 Azienda Vinicola Calabretta, Etna Rosso – $27
Imported by Williams Corner Wines.  This wine is Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio sourced from 60-80 year old vines in Calderara.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose is light with dense orange-red fruit with a touch of sweaty and earthy aromas.  In the mouth there is plenty of red fruit, acidity, and minerality from the start all delivered in balance.  The flavors expand in the mouth with more minerals, tangy fruit, structure in the finish, and a long aftertaste.  With air finely, lifted black red fruit comes out along with fine tannins and tart fruit in the long aftertaste.  ***(*) Now-2025.

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