Region: Etna, Sicily, Italy
Perfect with: Wagyu steak or aged hard cheese
Ageing Potential: 10-15 years
Why you'll love it?
This Belgian wine merchant was having lunch in Sicily one sunny day back in 2000 and someone brought out a bottle of Etna wine. One sip and Frank was hooked, he immediately got in his car and drove around to the winery to have a look before deciding this was the place to make his own wine. When he first started he had no idea what his was doing, all he knew was he wanted to make a terroir driven wine with as little intervention as possible in the vineyard as well as in the cellar. At the time he was a wine collector and merchant, his first and favourite collection a 1972 case of Domaine Romanee Conti (one of the world’s most expensive Burgundy producers). So he was a little wild or unorthodox when he first began. Etna was the perfect location for his project because the region is naturally quite dry, cool and free of disease. The ancient nerello mascalese grapes were also exactly what he was looking for with their natural super power in being able to convey the slightest change in terroir. And of course the terroir itself was unlike anywhere else in the world. This was the place where Frank could realise his dream.
Today he has 9 different single vineyard Munjabel lines. Munjabel is old sicilian for Mount Etna. The one you’re drinking is from Monte Colla. Made from 100% Nerello Mascalese, this is probably their most rich and powerful wine, which they refer to as their Hermitage of Etna. Monte colla is 760m above sea level, with vines over 70 years old. The vineyard is unique in that it has the longest sunlight exposure, together with the sandy clay soil, this results producing some big powerful reds.
The fabulous aromas of fresh berries, floral and leather along with dried spices and minerals all come together beautifully in the glass. This continues to impress with its focused flavors of dark and red berries, and gorgeous elegant texture leading up to the long finish. Today, this already shows some attractive qualities, but it will certainly be best as it evolves with a few years of additional bottle age.