I was too young, a mere 26, when I traveled to Italy. On the trip, I enjoyed far more beer than wine but I dearly wish I knew I was so close to this winery as I stood on the south slope in the lava flows. The Tornatore family has been in the winemaking industry since 1865 then expanded in 1910, when Grandfather Giuseppe acquired 2 more hectares of land on the north side of Mt Etna. Mt Etna is Europe’s most active volcano, frequently leaking lava down hillsides. What this lava imparts on wine, is something completely unique. Just as lava oozes down the slopes around the mountain, it also oozes into the wines produced in this region.
When I first opened this bottle yesterday, I was inundated by minerality and more minerality (similar to wet rocks but this was a bit sweet from the lava). It was overpowering any fruit the wine might have had on reserve. Tonight, when I poured a glass, it was bright red fruits and the minerality took a backseat. Luscious ripe strawberries now prevail over the subtler hints of slate. Last night, the nose was reminiscent of forest floor, lava rock, and chalk but by tonight it had transformed to ripe red fruits. The lower acid and light tannin intertwined well, unfortunately, the strawberry dissipated far too quickly after tasting. Overnight, this wine transformed, becoming more graceful and complex. It was like drinking an entirely new bottle.