Volcanic material, basalts, terraces, ungrafted saplings, craters and explosions at altitudes that reach 1000 metres: this is the scenario to which the black mascalese, king of Etna, is accustomed, and where it is the happiest. Native of the volcano, even if not necessarily originating heren, the nerello mascalese is counted among the best vines in the world as it gives a red wine clearly oriented towards elegance and not opulence and muscularity. Some liken it to pinot noir, but nerello mascalese, in addition, has a great ally: the volcano. And, obviously, vineyards of venerable age scattered in districts - especially along the northern side of Etna - which for exposure and altitude have few equals in the world. Naturally, it lends itself to important ageing both in large barrels and in barriques.
As a single variety as is usually found in the more aristocratic versions of Etna Rosso, it has a beautiful ruby colour, tending towards garnet, quite transparent, due to the presence of a modest quantity of polyphenols. The aromas are fine, with hints of red berry fruit and an interesting spicy note; the whole, on the palate, is supported by lively acidity, elegant tannins - very pungent in youth, especially from the "extreme" districts - and marked minerality, a product of the volcanic terroir. Sometimes, in the classic Etna Rosso, it is vinified in blends with nerello cappuccio, more accessible and round. It also performs well as a rosé, which is anything but sly, indeed it is biting for minerality and sapidity. Outside Etna, it is also considered native to the Messina area, especially in the Faro DOC, where it expresses a more opulent and articulate austere personality, and in the Aeolian Islands, another volcanic terroir that gives a pleasantly mineral nerello mascalese.