Few places can produce a white that is an island wine, a volcanic wine, and a mountain wine all at once. But when the vineyards are situated high on the slopes of Etna, the active stratovolcano that towers almost eleven thousand feet over the Mediterranean, the stage is clearly set for something special and totally unparalleled in the world of wine. Factor in ancient practices and own-rooted vines surpassing a century in age, and Etna is undoubtedly one of the most fascinating grape-growing regions on Earth. Carmelo Vecchio and Rosa La Guzza’s white captures every element of this spectacular setting, from the fresh herbal and lively citrusy notes that come from being so high up, to the subtle grit and salinity only achievable from volcanic vineyards in the middle of the sea, to the textural intrigue born from a brief skin maceration, as Etna tradition dictates. Serve it cool—not cold—and let it breathe as it slowly uncoils and brings all its intricacies to the table.
Consistency is key for sixth-generation winemaker Yves Leccia, who year after year bottles some of the most chiseled, sumptuous Corsican whites with Burgundy-like precision. His Patrimonio blanc, from the stony E Croce plateau, is bright and luminous, with hints of white grapefruit, acacia flowers, and fragrant maquis herbs. You’ll taste the salty sea breeze in this wine, so seafood is an obvious pairing, but so are spring vegetables like white asparagus, fava beans, and watercress salad with peas and mint.
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