Tenuta Aglaea Contrada Santo Spirito Etna Rosso 2015

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  • South Melbourne
  • Sydney

Like most Italophile wine drinkers, in recent years I've been captivated by the wines coming off the side of Europe's tallest active volcano, Mt Etna in Sicily. Its a pretty evocative place to start with, I mean it's vineyards on the side of a volcano...you get what I'm saying here! But beyond the setting, the wines are captivating and unique.

The first release of the Santo Spirito from tiny producer Tenuta Aglaea is as good as it gets. Rose petals, lavender, mint and woodsy spice give way to a backbeat blast of black mineral sand and a little vanillin and bramble. The palate is a mixture of crunchy red and black fruits and spice that sit within a textured/slippery palate until the fine tannins grab a hold coaxing the wine to through to a long and really fine end point. The hacneyed descriptor of these wines being the "Baroli of the South" is hard to avoid with this wine such is the interplay between delicacy and power. It's gorgeous now but it will get better in the cellar for 8 years. MICHAEL MCNAMARA, PWS

Santo Spirito is my first official single vineyard wine. It derives from the vineyard and province of Santo Spirito – a vineyard made up of terrasses held up by ancient dry-built stone walls. The vines are trained by the Alberello system, and grow at 600 – 800 m. (1.200 – 2.400 feet) above sea level.

The wine to me is a prime example of the essence of Etna at its best: the boost of the mineral lava notes, the mix of mature red fruit, flowers and a touch of spice – a complex and evolving set of flavours that go together to form a very elegant, very balanced wine. Santo Spirito is finesse. ANNE-LOUISE MIKKELSSEN