Tenuta Aglaea - Pure Expressions from Mt Etna
Tenuta Aglaea – Pure Expressions from Mt Etna
Etna – the mountain and the wine appellation surrounding it – provides a jaw-dropping landscape, one every wine lover should see. Millions of gnarled old vines grow out of avalanches of dark, crumbling lava soils with a massive, commanding peak looming in the background. RAJAT PARR, The Sommelier’s Taste of Wine.
Anne-Louise 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. ROSCOE HALLIGAN-ROSE, PWS
Etna’s revitalisation since the 90s has given us a gamut of original whites and reds. The everchanging volcanic soils are layers of lava eruptions and molten rock that has been spewed from the gurgling mouth of Etna. These different layers result in a mix of deep dark soils of minerals and rocks that imbue different characteristics into the wines.
In terms of originality, Etna is a darling of many wine critics. Jancis Robinson called it the ‘strangest wine country in the world’ while Rajat Parr is excited about its revival remarking ‘it’s introducing the world to a beguiling wine from an exotic place.’ These wines are mysterious and delightful surprises that tell a captivating story of local grapes, altitude, exposure and volcanic soils.
Etna reds stand out for their tension, finesse and agile frames. Sitting on the slopes of the active volcano on black pumice-rich volcanic soils, these wines encapsulate purity and minerality. Nerello mascallese leads the reds while carricante takes centre stage on the waxy and minerally whites.
Anne-Louise Mikkelsen took over Tenuta Aglaea in 2009. Originally from Denmark, she fell in love with the originality of Etna’s grapes, the land and its ability as a terroir transmitter. She works organically with old bush vines at heights of 600-800m, Mikkelsen understands she needs to do little in the winery. The quality of her grapes is packed with vitality, minerally undercurrents and fine rich tannins.
With a focus on terroir, the Etna region is focused on defining their crus and bottling the plots separately. Mikkelsen now owns 1.8ha of vines in the Bocca d’Orzo (0.3ha) contrada in the zone of Randazzo, along with Passo Cannone (1ha) and Santo Spirito (0.5ha) in Passopisciaro. Working these vines is incredibly labour intensive – back-breaking at its best. Each plot is kept separate in the winery to preserve its personality.
We have two Etna wines on offer today; the Tenuta Aglaea Etna Bianco 2019 and the Tenuta Aglaea Etna Rosso Thalia 2018. The Bianco offers minerally texture and crisp marine notes while the Thalia imposes its presence with power and precision. With a few years under its belt, it’s subtle and nuanced with impressive confidence.
For the first time we also have a very small amount of Aglaea’s three vermouths; Bianco, Rosso and Dry. Using local botanicals of Etna, these are original Sicilian takes on vermouth with perceptible piquancy.
In a sea of sameness, Etna’s wines stand out for their originality. Their ability to transmit terroir is perceptive, resulting in upfront delicious wines with chalky textured tannins. These medium-bodied beauties are versatile, their tannin and fresh acidities a lovely counter to richer dishes.
PRODUCTS in this offer
Tenuta Aglaea Etna Rosso Thalia 2018From the zone of Randazzo, this is a step up in class. Light on its feet, Thalia has an undercurrent of power that builds in the glass. A mesmerising mix of bramble, sour cherries, smoked meats and wild herbs marries together. This 2019 shows darker depths of black fruits with some minerally ferrous tones. This has incredible staying power and class, all delivered in a lithely medium body. GABRIELLE POY, PWS2018Nerello MascaleseItaly482Special Price $48.00 Regular Price $55.00 As low as $44.00
Tenuta Aglaea Bianco Siciliano 2019A field blend of carricante, cataratto, inzolia, greganico and minella grown at an eye-watering 750m altitude, this finely composed white offers notes of almonds, orange peel and sea spray. The palate is slightly waxy yet driving, finishing off with a cleansing sweep of saline acidity. It's a beautiful original white, just like the place it comes from. It's wild yet delicate. GABRIELLE POY, PWS2019Italy482Special Price $40.00 Regular Price $48.00 As low as $38.00
Tenuta Aglaea Vermouth BiancoMade from a mix of local white grapes grown at high altitude, this has been infused with local organic spices and herbs, the main herb ingredient is Artemisia absinthium. With 125gm residual sugar, this rounds out a Vesper nicely! GABRIELLE POY, PWS2017VermouthItaly482Special Price $41.00 Regular Price $48.00
Tenuta Aglaea Vermouth DryMade from a field blend of white grapes; carricante, cataratto, inzolia, greganico and minella at high altitude, this has been infused with local organic spices and herbs, the main herb ingredient is Artemisia absinthium.This finishes drier than the Bianco with 40gm residual sugar. Pour this over ice with soda and a olive to garnish for a lovely aperitif. GABRIELLE POY, PWS2017VermouthItaly482Special Price $41.00 Regular Price $48.00
Tenuta Aglaea Vermouth RossoMade from a mix of local white and local red grapes (85% white, 15% nerello mascalese), this has been infused with local organic spices and herbs, the main herb ingredient is Artemisia absinthium. The nerello component adds colour and robustness, try it in a Manhattan, Negroni or Rob Roy. GABRIELLE POY, PWS2017VermouthItaly482Special Price $41.00 Regular Price $48.00
|Tenuta Aglaea – Pure Expressions from Mt Etna||REG. PRICE||SPECIAL||ORDER||TOTAL|
|Tenuta Aglaea Etna Rosso Thalia 2018||$55.00||$48.00|
|Tenuta Aglaea Bianco Siciliano 2019||$48.00||$40.00|
|Tenuta Aglaea Vermouth Bianco||$48.00||$41.00|
|Tenuta Aglaea Vermouth Dry||$48.00||$41.00|
|Tenuta Aglaea Vermouth Rosso||$48.00||$41.00|
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|Amex and Diner incur 2% surcharge|