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Etna Rosso: Panel tasting results

Etna’s volcanic terroirs and the distinctive, characterful indigenous reds grown there make for exciting red wines, produced in a variety of styles.

Anthony Rose, Susan Hulme MW and Jason Millar tasted 109 wines, with 3 Outstanding and 41 Highly recommended.

Etna Rosso: Panel tasting scores

109 wines tasted

Exceptional 0

Outstanding 3

Highly recommended 41

Recommended 49

Commended 11

Fair 4

Poor 1

Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their red wines classified as Etna DOC Rosso, Etna DOC Rosso Riserva or IGP Terre Siciliane, made using a minimum of 80% Nerello Mascalese or Nerello Cappuccio

In his Native Wine Grapes of Italy, Ian d’Agata writes: ‘Prior to 2000, nobody talked about Nerello Mascalese, or Nerello Cappuccio, its stablemate.’ Today, he says, things ‘couldn’t be more different, and the Etna area has become, without question, Italy’s single hottest wine production zone’.

Whether or not intended, there is a degree of irony in the word ‘hottest’ here, because – with all due respect to the reality of climate change – the huge Sicilian mountain attracting publicity this year for puffing volcanic vortex rings is distinctly colder and wetter than the rest of the island.

The Etna DOC was established in 1968, but it wasn’t until the ‘noughties’ that it saw the widespread adoption of indigenous grape varieties, most notably the light-coloured, late-ripening Nerello Mascalese.

Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores from the Etna Rosso panel tasting

Etna Rosso panel tasting scores

Wines were tasted blind

The judges

Anthony Rose is a widely published writer on wine and sake, including for The Oxford Companion. A DWWA Regional Chair, his latest book is Fizz! Champagne and Sparkling Wines of the World (Infinite Ideas, 2021).

Susan Hulme MW is a wine writer, editor, educator and presenter specialising in Italy. She runs her own wine training and consultancy company Vintuition and travels regularly to Italy’s wine regions. Now focusing more on her writing, she is Italian editor for The Wine Independent.

Jason Millar is a freelance wine writer, consultant, judge and communicator, with a focus on South Africa and Italy. He was formerly buyer and director at retailer Theatre of Wine, and in 2016 was the top WSET Diploma graduate worldwide.

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