Monday, March 28, 2011

Petra Lava Rosato 2008 - Etna D.O.C

After long procastination I am finally getting this blog rolling - and with a beautiful wine to begin with!

I am always on the lookout for new wines to try and out of the way regions to discover.  Through this I have come across and become fascinated by the Etna D.O.C. in Sicily, Italy.

The Etna DOC runs along the northern and eastern slopes of Mt Etna and the dominant grapes in the region are the bigger Nerello Mascalese followed by a fleshier and more subtle Nerello Cappuccio.  The Nerello varietals are thought to be descendants of Sangiovese.  The soils throughout the region are predominantly volcanic mixed with some sandy soil and are high draining.  This small region of Sicily is one of the few places in the world where grapevines are cultivated on the slopes of an active volcano.

The Petra Lava Rosato is a beautiful rose.  This appears vibrantly strawberry red when poured in the glass but is in all actuality more of a pale strawberry/salmon when viewed over a white surface.  When first opened it exhibits lots of fresh cranberry, cherry, and floral notes followed by rocky (I swear volcanic) earth. After being open for a couple hours the fruit mellows a bit and gives way to some more nuanced strawberry, herbal (think hint of basil), and rose petal flavors.  The medium plus acidity and just hint of tannin keeps the Petra Lava vibrantly fresh and begs for food.  Today we paired it with my favorite pasta dish, baby heirloom tomatoes sauteed with olive oil and garlic over spinach tortellini and topped with fresh basil and Grana Padano (young Parmesan).  It was a beautiful pairing as the acidity in the wine was a nice compliment to the tomatoes and the dish relies on it's freshness as does this wine.  Best lunch I have had in ages!

Tasting Note:
 Strawberry/salmon color.  Fresh cranberry, cherry, and floral notes followed by rocky volcanic earth. After decant the fruit mellows a bit and gives way to strawberry, herbal (basil), and rose petal. Medium plus acidity and just hint of tannin.  Excellent Balance and medium to medium plus complexity with a medium finish. 13% abv.

Highly recommended.  $14.99 on closeout from K&L, regularly $19.99.

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