Etna Rosso Barbagalli DOC
Pietradolce, means “sweet stone” in Italian and is an ode to Etna. The volcanic soil covering the slopes is very stony, sandy and mineral-rich. The Etna volcano’s abundant mineral components and microclimate – cool nights, warm days and wide-ranging temperature variations – give Pietradolce wines extraordinary richness, minerality, fragrance and depth.
Mount Etna is still very active – one of the most active in the world. It is also Europe’s highest volcano, soaring up to 3,322 meters or 10,990 feet (but altitude varies slightly depending on eruptions). The winery, on Mount Etna’s northern slopes, is far enough from the actual peak for safety, yet close enough to make the most of this special terroir. Vineyard surface is over 11 hectares (27 acres) and altitude ranges from 650 to 900 meters (2,135 to 2,955 feet) above sea level. This makes for particularly fragrant, focused aromas.
The winery itself is young – founded in 2005 by brothers Michele and Mario Faro. However, Michele and Mario are no strangers to vines, roots, stock, grafts and scions – they are, according to Gambero Rosso’s 2013 Wines of Italy, “two of the world’s top experts in nursery gardening.” Not surprisingly given their background, the pillar of the Faro philosophy is the brothers’ total respect for their territory, for native grapes and for ancient, traditional training systems: bush-trained vines. Combining the best of tradition and modern technology, Pietradolce’s boutique-sized production is eco-friendly and aims for “maximum respect for the Etna heritage.” It represents Etna’s purest and fullest expressions, from very, very old vineyards pre-Phylloxera.
The Barbagalli vineyard – a prized and protected vineyard located high above Pietradolce’s wine cellar – is 5 hectares/3.7 acres and its microclimate is greatly affected by its shape. A virtual amphitheater, or semi-circle with terraced bush-trained vineyards, it is well protected against weather phenomena. It is also surrounded by olive trees, which provide even further protection. The vines are among the oldest – 80 to 100 years – and they produce small clusters of small grapes. This coupled with the microclimate leads to wines with great power, thrust, character, balance and elegance.
After harvest in mid-fall, fermentation begins with about eighteen days of maceration. It ages in fine-grained, lightly toasted French oak tonneaux for about 20 months and then in bottle. Tasting this amazing wine is a lot like witnessing a volcano eruption from the very top of Mount Etna: extraordinary.
Wine exported to
Canada, USA, Singapore, Australia, Turks and Caicos
Most recent awards
- 2015 | Wine Advocate95
- 2015 | Wine Enthusiast91
- 2015 | James Suckling94
- 2015 | Wine Spectator94
- 2014 | Gambero Rosso3 Bicchieri
100% Nerello Mascalese
Length of alcoholic fermentation:
Type of yeast:
22-28 °C (71.6-82.4 °F)
Length of maceration:
2/6 years old
Type of oak:
French, fine-grained, light toast
Aging before bottling:
Aging in bottle:
Solicchiata, Mount Etna, Sicily
1 hectare (2.5 acres)
Volcanic, stony, sandy loam
900 meters (2,952 feet) above sea level
9000 plants per hectare
Age of vines:
pre-Phylloxera 100 year old vines
Time of harvest:
First vintage of this wine:
Total yearly production (in bottles):
A rich bouquet ranging from red berry jam to spices and mineral notes; elegant and full of character at the same time; distinctive minerality, freshness and flavor intensity sustained by firm tannins. A lengthy, elegant and fruity finish.
Best served at 16-18 °C (60.8-64.4 °F).
Pairs well with baked lamb and grilled steak.
Up to 15 years
Alc cont.:14,5% by volume
Michele e Mario Faro