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2020 Vino Bianco “Caravan Petrol”

Masseria del Pino
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Mount Etna’s astronomic rise in hipness over the last decade or so has created a sort of gold rush (or oil rush, to use the metaphor used on this wine's label), with producers from all over Sicily, mainland Italy, and beyond seeking to cash in on this ancient wine region’s newfound popularity. Just as hungry entrepreneurs—often with great means and little respect for the land and its history—settle in, hoping to make it big, Cesare Fulvio and Federica Turillo humbly tend to their two hectares of 120-year-old vines high on the volcano’s northern face. They craft wines with their bare hands—and feet!—that are worlds removed from the heavy investment, modern technology, and mass marketing that is reshaping the Etnean landscape.
     Consider their Carricante-based white: lightly skin-macerated, it was pressed manually and aged in a solitary chestnut cask before an unfiltered, unsulfured bottling. Charming, fresh, and textured, with suggestions of wildflowers, saffron, lemon, and nuts, this is Etna in all its raw glory.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Field blend: Carricante, Catarratto, Minella, Pizzutella
Country: Italy
Region: Sicily
Producer: Masseria del Pino
Winemaker: Cesare Fulvio and Federica Turillo
Vineyard: 120 years, 1.7 ha total
Soil: Volcanic
Aging: Fermented and aged in a 500-L chestnut barrel for 9 months
Farming: Biodynamic (practicing)
Alcohol: 11%

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About The Region

Sicily

map of Sicily

Italy’s southernmost region and the largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has no shortage of sunshine to grow high-quality grapes on a yearly basis. It also does not lack a history of winemaking: since the Greeks settled here almost three millennia ago, the vine has played a major role in the island’s agricultural makeup. Production of cheap bulk wine for blending dominated much of its recent history until now, as we are witnessing a quality revolution that puts forth its great diversity and quality of terroirs, indigenous grape varieties, and local production methods.

While Sicily’s historical reputation is for sweet wines—Marsala and the Muscats of Pantelleria stand out—a number of dry whites and reds are enjoying the spotlight today. The cooler, high-altitude slopes of Etna, with its ashy volcanic soils, have seen an explosion of activity from producers both local and foreign; both whites (primarily from Carricante) and reds (Nerello Mascalese) here are capable of uncommon freshness and finesse. Other noteworthy wine regions are Eloro, where Nero d’Avola gives its best; Noto, an oasis of dry and sweet Moscatos; Vittoria, with its supple, perfumed Frappatos; and Salina, where Malvasia makes thirst-quenching dry whites and deliciously succulent passiti.

Countless foreign invasions over the centuries have given Sicilian architecture and cuisine a unique exotic twist, making it a fascinating destination for gourmands as well as wine importers. With a wealth of dedicated artisans proud to show off the riches of their land, you can bet there are many exciting things still to come from this incredible island.

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Sampling wine out of the barrel.

When buying red Burgundy, I think we should remember:

1. Big wines do not age better than light wine.
2. A so-called great vintage at the outset does not guarantee a great vintage for the duration.
3. A so-called off vintage at the outset does not mean the wines do not have a brilliant future ahead of them.
4. Red Burgundy should not taste like Guigal Côte-Rôtie, even if most wine writers wish it would.
5. Don’t follow leaders; watch yer parking meters.

Inspiring Thirst, page 174

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