2022 Etna Bianco, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicily, Italy

2022 Etna Bianco, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicily, Italy

Product: 20221314234
Prices start from £22.50 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2022 Etna Bianco, Graci, Passopisciaro, Sicily, Italy

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Description

This Etna Bianco from Alberto Graci is an organic white wine, aged on lees & made from 85% Carricante and 15% Catarratto on 600m high slopes in Sicily. The 2022 has a clear and bright lemon colour, with fresh aromas of oyster shells, white peach and notes of cardamom. 

The palate is refreshingly mineral, transporting you to Mount Etna’s volcanic slopes, balanced with a beautiful salinity and notes of soft, tropical fruits and a long, lemony finish. This is a masterpiece in ‘entry-level’ wine with outstanding value. 

Enjoy with seafood dishes and drink from 2023 - 2029.

Katie Merry, Assistant Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd

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Critics reviews

Eric Guido, Vinous89/100

The 2022 Etna Bianco fascinates with a unique blend of smoky peat and lime zest with complicating sour melon. It’s soft, soothing and distinctly savoury in style, with masses of saline minerals giving way to young peach nuances. This tapers off a bit short yet clean, with a salty flourish that keeps the mouth watering for more.

I found the Etna Rossos from Graci among the top wines I tasted for this year's report. Especially the 2018 Arcuria Sopra il Pozzo, which transcends the conditions of this challenging year. The 2020 Rosso Arcuria and Rosso Feudo di Mezzo were equally compelling. However, I can’t say the same for the 2021 and 2022. In both cases, the wines come across as understated to a fault or mineral to the point of being fruit-challenged. When possible, I checked in on a second bottle, each time with the same result. For example, the 2021 Arcuria shows a Band-Aid note on the nose that leads me to suspect Brettanomyces.

Drink 2023 - 2026

Eric Guido, Vinous.com (September 2023)

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Wine Advocate92/100

Made with 85% Carricante and 15% Catarratto, the Graci 2022 Etna Bianco has a distinct mineral note that adds extra sharpness and brightness. Over the years, the percentage of Carricante has increased in the blend. This grape's salty-mineral profile takes centre stage. Showing a very light golden colour, the wine drinks beautifully right now.

Alberto Aiello Graci is one of the protagonists of the Etna wine movement. He has added a beautiful new white wine to his portfolio from the Contrada Mugnanazzi, which sits at 700 meters above sea level.

Drink 2023 - 2028

Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (June 2023)

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James Suckling91/100

Lively citrus characters are followed by subtle aromas of sea shells and wet stones. Medium-bodied. Flinty finish at the end. Clean and crisp. A blend of 85% Carricante and 15% Catarratto.

Drink now

James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com (October 2023)

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About this WINE

Graci, Sicily

Graci, Sicily

Alberto Aiello Graci has been making wine on Sicily's Mount Etna since 2004, the year he returned from his apprenticeship as a Milan banker, picking up the baton with 5 hectares of family land, 2 hectares of which is vineyards (the rest polycultural activities).

The region of Etna Rosso, famous for its black lava soils and elegant red wines made from the Nerello Mascalese and Cappuccio grapes, has been undergoing a revival since 2000, lured by juicy EU grants and spectacular scenery. Once carpeted with vines - the fruit of which was allegedly used to in bulk to prop up the wines of the Langhe and of Burgundy - it has now become an artisan's playground, a mix of hobbyist and commercial winegrowers.

Alberto Graci is definitely in the latter category; his feet firmly on the ground. As the Vice President of the Consorzio, that covers 300 hectares of Etna DOC, he's forever preoccupied with the quality of the wines now being produced (at yields still as high as 65hl/ha).

His patch of heaven is part 50 year old, 8500 high density, free-standing 'alberello' vines at 1000 metres above sea level that produce naturally low yields amid the black grainy soils, part younger trained vines on flatter, lower sandier terra. He prefers to tend his vines as naturally as possible.

Fermentation takes place in a combination of large cement and Au strian Stockhinger oak of 42hl, at ambient (30-35 celsius) temperatures, using wild yeast, before moving the wine into slightly smaller Gamba barrels. He seeks the reductive quality of large oak, that captures the character of the soil and fruit, rather than the stylistic effects of micro-oxygenation brought by French barriques.

Alberto debuted his Etna Rosato (100% Nerello Mascalese) with the 2013 vintage, partnering the earlier drinking smoky red Etna Rosso, the more structured, wilder berried Quota 600 (from vines 600 metres up - a 500 case production of only Nerello Mascalese and Cappuccio, lush and lithe), the high thrills of his Quota 1000 and the minerally citrus Etna Bianco Contrada Arcuria (made from 100% Carricante).

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Etna

Etna

Winemaking on Mount Etna, located on the eastern coast of Sicily in Italy, is a unique and ancient tradition that has gained significant recognition in recent years. Etna is one of Europe’s most active volcanoes, and its volcanic soil, elevation, and climate combine to create exceptional conditions for grape cultivation and winemaking.

The volcanic soil is rich in minerals and nutrients, making it highly fertile for grapevines. The dark, volcanic ash and lava rock contribute to the unique flavor profiles of the wines, giving them a distinct mineral and earthy character.

Etna is a high-altitude wine region, with vineyards located at various elevations ranging from 1,300 to 3,300 feet (400 to 1,000 meters) above sea level. This elevation results in cooler temperatures, which help to preserve acidity and freshness in the grapes, even in the warm Mediterranean climate.

The dominant grape variety is Nerello Mascalese. Nerello Cappuccio, another red grape variety, and Carricante, a white grape variety, are also cultivated here. These grapes are well-suited to the volcanic soil and elevation, producing wines with complexity and elegance.

Etna has a diverse range of microclimates due to its varying elevations, exposure to the sun, and volcanic activity. These allow winemakers to produce a wide range of wine styles, from lighter, more elegant reds to fuller-bodied, age-worthy wines.

The region has a rich history of winemaking dating back thousands of years, but in recent decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in producing high-quality wines. Many winemakers combine traditional techniques with modern innovations to create exceptional wines.

The region has its own Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) designation, which sets quality standards and regulations for winemaking. This designation helps protect the authenticity and quality of the wines.

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Other Varieties

Other Varieties

There are over 200 different grape varieties used in modern wine making (from a total of over 1000). Most lesser known blends and varieties are traditional to specific parts of the world.

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