Qvevri Rosso, Vino di Anna 2017 $35 Another old favorite from our friend Anna Martens, an Australian expat who worked in Tuscany for years before taking a trip to Mount Etna and never leaving. She works with old vineyards on the north side of the volcano in Solichiatta out of a 250 year old cellar. This is mostly Nerello Mascalese with a little Nerello Cappucio and Alicante from a few different vineyards ranging in age from 60-100 years old, almost 3000 feet up, all hand harvested and fermented in buried clay pots from Georgia called Qvevri where the skins stay on the juice for 2-4 months, then it's racked to another Qvevri and old barrels for another 6 months, then bottled unfiltered with no sulfur added. Supple red berry fruit with smoky spice and electric energy.
Munjebel Rosso, Frank Cornelissen 2018 $50 Speaking of foreigners on the north side of Mount Etna, Frank is the one who started the craze. He came here from Belgium in 2000 and in short order became one of the godfathers of the modern natural wine movement. This is 100% Nerello Mascalese from 4 of his most prized vineyards averaging about 60 years old and again, almost 3000 feet up. This is aged in huge neutral epoxy tanks, then bottled unfined, but lightly filtered with just a little sulfur at bottling. Brighter than Anna's with vibrant red fruit with a silky roundness and weightless quality to it. Focused and pure.