San Lorenzo: The volcano wine
Girolamo Russo is located at the bottom of the volcano Etna. The Etna is one of the few remaining active volcanoes in Europe. This small winery produces three red and one white wine – all of them are classified as Etna DOC. Around half a year ago I reviewed the winery’s 2008 ‘a Rina Etna Rosso DOC. The wine which is also featured in my Top 10 list convinced me so much that I decided to try the other wines from Girolamo Russo. This time I tried their 2007 San Lorenzo Etna Rosso DOC. Just 4400 bottles were manufactured that year.
San Lorenzo scored 93 points at the Wine Enthusiast and won the Super Tre Stelle award from Veronelli. The new 2009 vintage won also the famous tre bicchieri Gambero Rosso award.
The wine is produced with 98% Nerello Mascalese and with 2% Nerello Cappuccio grapes. All grapes are grown on volcanic ground. San Lorenzo aged 20 months in French oak (70% old, 30% new oak) and six months in bottle.
Prior to drinking the wine was decanted for two hours.
After pouring a glass of wine, I noticed a garnet red color. On the nose, there were dried plums, raspberry liquor and lots of volcanic aromas. Furthermore I smelled dark spices and a little bit of chocolate. Right away the wine was very different compared to the ‘a Rina that I tried some time ago.
14.5% was the bottle listed ABV. The palate was dry with mellow tannins. There was a little bit of acidity, too. San Lorenzo had a long finish and was somewhere between medium- and full-bodied. The texture of the San Lorenzo is rather smooth. I tasted blackberry, too. Very complex wine that has a lot to offer!
Please notice that the bottle image is from the 2009 vintage (the both look the same though).
Let’s sum it up!
I bought the San Lorenzo from Azienda Girolamo Russo in an Enoteca in Bologna, Italy for 27€. Compared to that the a’ Rina retailed there for just 15€. San Lorenzo is recommended – however the ‘a Rina has a much better price-quality ratio. For 15€ you cannot go wrong with the ‘a Rina. San Lorenzo is more complex and offers a bit more. If you have tried either of them then let me know how you liked them! In my opinion, Girolamo Russo makes some of the very best Etna Rosso wines!