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I Custodi "Pistus" Etna Rosso '21
Mario Paluzzi established I Custodi in 2007 with a commitment to work with the ancient albarello bush vines he had, some of which are more than 150 years old. He also has key vineyard holdings on the northern and southeastern slopes of Etna. His cellar master is long-time Etna winemaker Salvo Foti, who is focused on preserving the volcanic character in Etna’s wines. I Custodi’s winery and most of the 12 hectares of vineyards are on Etna’s northern slope, in the contrade (geographic plots similar to cru growing areas in other wine regions) of Moganazzi and Feudo di Mezzo. The northern slope is known to be one of the driest and coldest, and with the most concentration of Nerello Mascalese. Northern slope reds have long tannins, providing great vertical structure to the wines, not unlike the best Nebbiolo wines, and tend to be structured and savory in character.
“Pistus” is made primarily from fruit harvested from younger vines and is a blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio. The fermentation lasts 10 days in stainless steel tanks, without temperature control. Élevage lasts for 12 months in stainless steel. The wine offers notes of ripe cherry, plum, dried earth, and tobacco. Medium bodied on the palate, it is fresh and supple, with lively acidity that helps balance the fruit and tannins throughout the long finish. A pleasure to drink now, especially when served with a slight chill.
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