Few wines really speak of a region or variety to me (no fault of the wines, but rather a lack of skill on my part), but this wine did. As I sipped it initially I felt certain it was Nerello Mascalese. Something about the combination of fruit and earth just made me think of the wines we tasted around Mt. Etna in Sicily. The Terre Siciliane IGT classification wasn’t much help as it covers all of Sicily.
2018 Bonavita Rosato, Terre Siciliane IGT — dark raspberry color in the glass. The aromas begin with iron, black earth, pomegranate and cranberry. The flavors follow the aromas along with dried herbs, light tannins and nice acidity. Aromas of dried alfalfa linger in the empty glass. 11.5% abv. $29.
This Rosato has so much flavor and texture and is so interesting. And look at that abv! This is the style of wine I enjoy most regardless of the season. After a while I went looking for the wine’s story.
The blend is 60% Nerello Mascalese, 30% Nerello Cappuccio, 10% Nocera. The grapes macerated on the skins for 12 hours and were aged in stainless steel for seven months.
According to Cream Wine Company, a Chicago-area wine importer and distributor, Giovanni Scarfone is the winemaker and owner of Bonavita. The vineyards, part of a small, organic farm that has been in the family for generations, are located in the Faro DOC northeast of Mt. Etna toward the Strait of Messina. Vines range in age from 10 to 80 years. The first commercial vintage was 2006, and prior to that the wines were enjoyed only by the family. The gentleman pictured on the 2018 Bonavita Rosato is Giovanni Scarfone’s father — added for the 2018 vintage in his memory.
Cream Wine Company goes on to note some differences between Faro and Etna:
“Faro is similar to Etna Rosso in that both appellations contain Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Capuccio, and both are in north-eastern Sicily. Faro is different from Etna in that it also contains the grape Nocera, for added acidity; it is grown at lower altitude, 800 feet above sea level compared with as much as 2,600 feet or more for Etna; and the soil is limestone and clay, rather than the granular lava of Etna.”
I hope you’re sipping something delicious tonight.