Tenuta Aglaea New Releases 2020
Sitting down and writing my annual Sicily report has never been so exciting. I don’t remember the last time I tasted through so many world-class wines, both white and red, from Sicily; probably never, in fact. IAN D’AGATA 2019
Europe’s highest active volcano isn’t the only thing heating up Sicily’s Mount Etna. Thanks to the recent revitalization of ancient, abandoned vineyards on the mountain’s slopes, renewed engagement from local vintners and outside investment from some of Italy’s most prominent companies, the reputation of Etna’s wines is skyrocketing. WINE SPECTATOR
These last ten to fifteen years, the identity of Sicilian wines has become more and more associated with the Etna production zone, named of course for its location near this iconic volcano in the island’s northeast. This has been an important step for Sicily’s wine identity, for numerous reasons. First, and I believe, foremost, this is a specific district that is bringing attention to Sicily; it’s not just Sicilian wine. Secondly, the wines are extremely distinctive, thanks in large part to the soils, derived from lava flow from the volcano. Finally, the style and quality of these wines – both white and red – is excellent, and in a few cases, nothing short of outstanding. TOM HYLAND, Forbes
Anne-Marie Mikkelson and her Etna based estate Aglaea are probably well known by a lot of our customers after the years of us all talking about them so much. While her Aglaea ‘Aglaea’ is gobbled up eagerly each year for its brilliant quality V price ratio, it is her “mid way” and Cru wine that I wanted to bring your attention to today.
Anne-Marie tends not to worry about critics and the noisy hubbub that comes with the associated press. Solely focused on her little estate she lets the quality of her wines sing their own song and the adoring fans she has garnered across the globe speaks volumes as to the result of that commitment to quality. They have a strong enough following here that the wines now sell out every year as her base in Australia is very strong.
As to the vintage, 2017, as Ian D’Agata alludes to in his article on the region last year, was particularly strong in the region and Anne-Marie has captured all that is great in the vintage and bottled it with her new Thalia. The Rosso is gorgeous, perfumed and attractively spiced with a lick of incense and a dusting of smoky minerality.
Regarding 2015 d’Agata comments “the red wines look to be graceful rather than powerful, but should prove to be ageworthy.” Certainly the case with the first release of her single site Santo Spirito, sourced off the steep terraces, between 600 – 800 m and showing the perfume of the variety with the salinity of the site in gorgeous harmony. A wine that would benefit from a sleep in a cool, dark cellar for a few years but that is expressive enough now that it can offer a lot of enjoyment as is.
As a bracket they are an outstanding set of Etna wines that shows exactly why this is the hottest (metaphorically speaking) wine region on earth today.
While prices of wines from Etna have begun to skyrocket over recent years it is refreshing to see that Anne-Marie hasn’t really shifted in that direction and they remain, comparatively, great value.