‘a Rina 2011 Etna Rosso Girolamo Russo

I spent yesterday afternoon in a small, private vineyard disbudding the trunks, pulling weeds and taping cordons that needed securing to the wire.  There were two small ‘helpers’ with me most of the two hours I was out there.  They were more interested in me as a new person in their world than in being in the vineyard that they live beside.  My hips and back feel the squats and crab walking that I did between some of the vines; I am sure it was good for me.

Inflourescence and a beneficial spider in the Merlot of Stan Clarke Vineyard.
inflorescence and a beneficial spider in the Merlot of Stan Clarke Vineyard.

Today we were in Stan Clarke Vineyard for lab, more of the same motions and counting of buds for a cursory check on how they are doing.  I have three new vines in one of my rows and two of the existing plants are just coming on stage seven of the Eichorn-Lorenz System  which means there are no inflorescence (flower clusters) to count.  After such a lovely couple of afternoons it was impressive to watch the dying petals of the dogwood trees race through the air on the wind that came up not long after I got home; it is pouring hard and we are ensconced inside with the fire on.  Even the two cats are inside!

2011 'a Rina Etna Rosso from Girolamo Russo - a great Sicilian red blend.
2011 ‘a Rina Etna Rosso from Girolamo Russo – a great Sicilian red blend.

For such a night we have a lovely wine, 2011 ‘a Rina Etna Rosso Girolamo Russo.  The nose when we opened the bottle was forest floor: mushrooms, wet organic matter (which is rich and deep, nothing negative), and umami (meaty).  This followed through on the palate with a good dose of acidity, more so than the tannins.  Now that it has been opened a bit the nose has rose petals and cherry on it.  (While inhaling I didn’t realize I tipped the glass as far as I did and the bit of wine that wet my lips smacked of salami!)  The palate is quite balanced: tannins, acids and the dark red fruit that joined the deeper flavors first noted.

2011 'a Rina Etna Rosso, nerrello mascalese & nerello cappuccio grapes
2011 ‘a Rina Etna Rosso, Nerello Mascalese & Nerello Cappuccio grapes

This wine has two new grapes for us to add to our Wine Century Club list: Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio.  They are typically grown close together on the slopes of Mt Etna and they are often blended – plantings and blendings are proportional.  Apparently Nerello Mascalese is the bolder of the two, can be made into a varietal wine and is the major grape while the Nerello Cappuccio is planted less and a blending grape.  The descriptions of the grapes are so close it is amazing that they are considered distinct varietals, but I am sure this has been well established.

This is a medium-light bodied red, probably the lightest red wine I have yet enjoyed!  When we eventually head to the Willamette Valley and into California I expect the Pinot Noir that I will like will be something like this… maybe I am just hoping this is what they will be like since I really enjoyed this.

2 thoughts on “‘a Rina 2011 Etna Rosso Girolamo Russo

  1. Interesting post and very nice tasting notes: I have never tasted that specific producer, but I am surprised that there were no discernible notes of minerals as those are quite common in Etna Rosso wines, possibly because of the vines growing in volcanic soil, so much so that several of those wines have very distinct iron, graphite or anyway mineral aromas.
    At any rate, I am glad to hear that you quite liked the wine! 🙂


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