2018 Ciro Biondi "Outis" Nessuno, Etna Bianco, Sicily, Italy (750ml)

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This lovely Etna Bianco is a blend of 90% Carricante and 10% Minella, Malvasia, Catarrati and Moscatello. It was fermented and then aged for eight months in stainless steel before bottling. As Oliver McCrum, how imports Ciro Biondi wines explains, Carricante is a white grape with a distinct stony minerality, and this wine clearly shows that throughout on the nose, palate and finish in an exciting way. The other 10% of varietals are more aromatic in nature so they bring subtle scents of dried flower, under ripe peach and a little undercurrent of fresh herbs. This is a medium bodied, very easy to drink wine with good balancing acidity on the nicely stony finish. There is a briny component of preserved lemon that is rarely seen in other wines. Ciro Biondi is considered one of the top producers on Mt. Etna, the still active volcano in the north-eastern corner of Sicily. That only makes sense since the Biondi family has been farming grapes on the southern slope of the volcano since 1693. The Biondi winery was started at the end of the 1800s and was a consistent winner of medals and accolades at international wine fairs and exhibits through the early 1900s. The aftermath of WWII led to a major decline in the family business and it wasn't until Ciro and his wife, Stefanie, started the operation anew in 1999 that the Biondi name regained its importance in the Sicilian wine industry. The Biondis sustainably (basically organically) farm three main vineyards; Chianta, Cisterna Fuori and San Nicolo, which are all planted on the southeast slope of Etna in the town on Trecastagni.

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