Federal Wine & Spirits

29 State Street, Boston, MA 02109


Wake Up and Smell the Etna
July 2, 2018

Mount Etna  

      Pay attention to Mount Etna, a superlative example of a volcanic wine region. Three aspects of this area combine to create a wine production situation unlike any other. First, because of the high altitude, it is an Alpine climate in a Mediterranean zone. This cooler climate and the influence of the sea give a much longer growing season to yield grapes of ridiculous quality. Second is the incredibly complex volcanic soils that result from centuries of eruptions. There are 46 different lava types identified on Etna and the soil ranges from ash to boulders. This is terroir on an epic scale. Last there is a plethora of very old ungrafted pre-phylloxera vines which gives these wines extraordinary complexity and texture.

            Francesco Tornatore takes advantage of all these aspects at his winery on the northern slopes of Mount Etna in Castiglione di Sicilia. The family has been farming on Etna for generations and own some of the best vineyards on the mountain. Today’s offer is for the blended red and white as well as two of the single contrada bottlings.  The 2016 Tornatore Etna Biancois 100% Carricante. The wine displays ripe grapefruit and tangerine with peach complemented by herbal notes and a backbone of minerality and vibrant acidity. It will also age very well. The 2016 Tornatore Etna Rossois mostly Nerello Mascalese blended with a bit of Nerello Cappuccio. The wine is intensely flavored and persistent.

            The 2015 Tornatore Etna Rosso Pietrarizzois made from vines grown in soil composed of large rocks. The wine is intense and fragrant and still young. Extended breathing is suggested. The same is true for the 2015 Tornatore Etna Rosso Trimarchisa. The Trimarchisa contrada is more varied in soil types ranging from ash to boulders. This wine is a bit more restrained and has fuller flavor in the finish.

            These wines are all extraordinary examples of authentic Etna character. For now distribution is mostly restricted to restaurants. Enjoy.

2016 Tornatore Etna Bianco: Light straw with green reflections. Pink grapefruit, tangerine and peach aromas and flavors with herbs and pronounced minerality. Great with seafood.  Very Good Plus to Excellent   27/bottle  275/case

2016 Tornatore Etna Rosso: Light ruby. Wild berries and cherries with a lively mouthfeel complimented by herbs and spices with a floral note. Firm but subtle tannins and good acidity. Fresh and persistent. Very Good Plus to Excellent  27/bottle  275/case

2015 Tornatore Etna Rosso Pietrarizzo: Deep ruby. Fragrant aromas of red berries and flowers, lively cherry and raspberry flavors with cinnamon and dried herbs. Balanced and refined structure with elegant minerality.  Excellent 53/bottle  275/six pack

2015 Tornatore Etna Rosso Trimarchisa: Ruby. Restrained fresh ripeness with an undercore of minerality. Aromas and flavors of black cherry and blackberry with a touch of wood and black pepper. Complex and elegant mouthfeel  balanced by firm tannins and lively acidity. Very long finish. Will age very well.  Outstanding   85/bottle  434/six pack


Special mixed case: Three bottles of each of the above for a special price of $489


Order by phone at 617.367.8605, or reserve here: peter@federalwine.com


Please pass this on to any friends who are wine enthusiasts.


           - Peter Hemenway