Planeta Eruzione 1614 Nerello Mascalese 2018
Luminous and trasparent ruby-red. The sweetness and generosity of wild fruits and currants merges with aromas of incense and beeswax and a light almost salty touch invites one to return to one’s glass. This 100% Nerello Mascalese from lava sands presents its tasting strength and extraordinary aromas of incense and herbs, hibiscus and wild fennel. A luminous and lyrical wine which recounts without obstacles the character and refinement of great red mountain wines but at latitudes not far from Africa. The tannins of compact texture are extracted with elegance.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
In this edition of 14,000 bottles, the 2018 Sicilia Nerello Mascalese Eruzione 1614 is a beautifully elegant and streamlined wine that reflects the precision and careful winemaking that is a hallmark of the Planeta family. This wine opens to fine and nuanced aromas of wild berry, cassis and rose. Etched mineral notes and light spice frame a core of pretty fruit. This is a classic Etna red that can be stretched out to a 10-year drinking window if desired, although there's no reason not to enjoy this bottle straight out of the gate.
As if you can smell the ashen volcanic soils that these vines grow in, the 2018 Nerello Mascalese Eruzione 1614 wafts up smoky and musky, with a complement of cherry and dried strawberry that fully completes the experience. This is soft and fleshy in feel, boasting a noticeable inner sweetness nicely balanced by brisk acids and pretty inner florals. The 2018 lacks the persistence and structure to promote long-term cellaring, but makes up for it with sheer drink ability.
“It is a new way of thinking about the journey through Sicily; after Menfi, Vittoria, then Noto, then Etna, then Milazzo. Not a random route, but one strongly linked to the variety of countryside, to the winds, to the character of the people and thus of their wine…” –Diego Planeta
Planeta encompasses six distinct wine estates across Sicily, each one inspired and constructed in harmony with its surroundings and dedicated to its terroir.
For five centuries and seventeen generations, the Planeta family has been involved in the Sicilian agricultural sector. Their work on the island has contributed to the revitalization of Sicilian winemaking, now one of the most dynamic and sought-after viticultural regions in the world. Planeta’s journey begins at Sambuca di Sicilia, on the estate owned by the family since the 1600s. Here on Italy's most enchanting island, three enthusiastic young Sicilians, Alessio, Francesca and Santi Planeta, under the guidance of Diego Planeta, began their winemaking venture in the mid-1980s. Subsequent years were spent matching the extraordinarily diverse Sicilian soils with both indigenous and international varieties. Years of careful research paid off when the Planeta wines were met with immediate critical acclaim upon introduction in the U.S. in the late 1990s.
Planeta’s six boutique wineries include: Ulmo at Sambuca di Sicilia, Dispensa at Menfi, Dorilli at Vittoria, Buonivini at Noto, Sciara Nuova on Etna at Castiglione di Sicilia, and the newest addition, La Baronia at Capo Milazzo. Each vineyard site is carefully cultivated with grapes that best compliment the local terroir.
Santi, daughter of Diego Planeta, leads the international marketing and sales component of the wineries. Alessio, the head winemaker and viticulturist since 1996, has been instrumental in identifying the best grape varieties for the diverse Sicilian soils. Santi leads as head of sales for the European market and spearheads the marketing initiatives for the wineries. Alessio, Francesca and Santi Planeta established the company and their comprehensive winemaking approach, but the whole family is with them, rooted in Sicilian agriculture for generations. They are a family and a company of ambitious aims, following strict principles of quality, a rigorous respect for the environment and social responsibility.
A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.
Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on this sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white Sicilian wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.
Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieties or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected Sicilian wines of the island.
Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry Sicilian white. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.
Extending across the variable volcanic soils of the slopes of Mt. Etna at some of the highest vineyard altitudes in all of Europe—up to 3,300 feet—Nerello Mascalese is one of Sicily’s most noble red varieties. It makes a beautifully aromatic, firm, cellar-worthy but pale-hued red often comparable to a fine Burgundy or Barbaresco. Somm Secret—Nerello Mascalese takes its name from the black color of its grapes, nerello, and the Mascali plain between Mt. Etna and the coast where it is believed to have originated.