Azienda Girolamo Russo has their vineyards on the sunny Italian island of Sicily. To be more precise on the foot of the Etna (an active volcano!) They produce three red wines which are all made with a cuvée of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grapes. The bottle shape is very typical for Sicilian red wines (see picture below).
In a local Enoteca I decided to buy the 2008 vintage ‘a Rina. I liked the bottle label and always wanted to try a Rosso dell’Etna wine. Since a friend recommended me to buy one of Azienda Girolamo Russo I went with his advice.
In the glass, I noticed a light red color.
Now comes one of my favorite parts of this wine. The nose was complex, with uncommon aromas and very interesting. Lava stone, slate, some other minerals, dark fruits. I could smell the volcanic ground where the grape were grown on. I have never had a wine with such a nose before. It was a great experience!
On the palate, I enjoyed the smoothness of ‘A Rina. The tannins were pleasing and the wine was dry. I tasted a few minerals and a little alcohol which gives this Rosso dell’Etna a warming feeling. The body was medium. ‘A Rina has had a long and elegant finish.
Together with this wine I wouldn’t recommend eating anything. It’s a great wine for meditation. A small salumi plate could go well with it but really this is a stand-alone wine.
‘a Rina is classified as Etna Rosso DOC.
In Italy I found this wine retailing for 15€, in Germany for 18-19€. I’m not sure if the wine aged in oak since neither the winery’s website nor the bottle label said something about that. I believe though that it was neither in French nor American oak. From the taste notes I would conclude it aged in stainless steel tanks.
‘a Rina scored 90/100 points at the Wine Enthusiast.
Azienda Girolamo Russo‘s ‘a Rina is very much recommended but since this wine is rather unusual I would not recommend it to people who are just starting to get into wines. ‘a Rina is so unique that it’s a great experience for advanced wine drinkers.