Our 2013 harvest is inside and I am happy with the result. It has been a very difficult vintage in terms of crop thinning and cleaning/selecting grapes.
Below is an overview of the wines of the new RELEASE 2013; our wines of the 2012 vintage and our Magma® 2011, a great vintage and profound wine.
RELEASE 2013 – 2012 vintage and product information
Although Etna is known for it’s vintage differences due to the extremely variable climate, the wines of the 2012 vintage are unique due to their incredible concentration.
The season started cold and snowy with hail early in the season (please check other articles in my blog for more info) and ended with a very dry summer continuing without rain into the autumn. We finished picking October 23rd which was very early with incredible concentration of grapes, low yields and perfect phenolic ripeness which is rare for Nerello Mascalese, especially for the higher vineyards above 800m. elevation.
Although the vineyard charachter was showing and had not been over-ruled by the vintage I still had mixed feelings in the spring of 2013 with the wines of the 2012 vintage as they showed big and bold. But then gradually the wines changed and opened up when malolactic fermentation was very slowly ending. Especially our MunJebel® crus (CS/Chiusa Spagnola, MC/Monte Colla and VA/Vigne Alte) as well as Magma® (Barbabecchi vineyard) have a density which will require time to express their full potential.
RELEASE 2013 – Product information
Our rosé Susucaru® 4th editon which has been released in May is lush and dense, which reflects perfectly the vintage. The nose is medium aromatic and it tastes very well now, after completely opening up during the winter of 2013. It actually is a very versatile wine in terms of food-pairings and can accompany a complete diner, from aperitif, to starter, main dish and even desert. A unique wine in many ways, from vinification to aromatics.
Malvasia, Moscadella, Cattaratto and Nerello Mascalese (5.700 bottles and 242 magnums produced)
The MunJebel® olive oil has been produced and bottled in a tiny quantity. I felt that the quality of the olives where not up to the usual standard due to the warm autumn. We bottled only 73 liters MunJebel® olive oil from our highest olive growth.
This year (2013) we were able to pick good quality olives which makes me happy as I take pride in our olive oil production.
San Benedetto, Carolea, Frantoiana olives (197 half bottles produced)
MunJebel® Bianco 9
Although the vintage was demanding in terms of density, I have chosen to pick a bit earlier in 2012 than I would have usually done. And it payed off: a very balanced wine overall with an expressive nose and a slight tannic mid-pallet.
Grecanico d’Orato 80%, Coda di Volpe, Carricante and Cattaratto (2.300 bottles and 113 magnums produced)
Contadino 10 has become a big wine. Chewy and tannic, expressing more texture and density compared to the early versions which were much more light and pinot-ish.
Just like 2011, the 2012 Contadino is a serious and complex wine, although the 2012 is more “stony” than the 2011 which was more fruity.
Nerello Mascalese 80%, Allicante Boushet, Nerello Capuccio, Minella Nera, Minella Bianco (10.700 bottles, 260 magnums and 18 double-magnums produced)
MunJebel® Rosso 9 expresses a new era: it is the first MunJebel® Rosso which deliberately is not a blend of vintages. I decided to stop blending the vintages because I noticed a slight increase in volatile acidity during the aging process when over a year of elevage. My search to produce more precise wines in terms of territory has also taken me back to expressing the vintage character. I understand that some of you would have liked me to continue blending, but I would suggest you to taste this 9th edition as it is one of the best classic MunJebel® Rosso’s so far: combining balance, complexity and body as there is always a part of each of our crus in this vineyard blend. In 2012 the Porcaria cru which was not bottled as such, went completely into this wine.
Nerello Mascalese 100% (4.800 bottles, 175 magnums and 9 double-magnums produced)
MunJebel® Rosso 9 PA (Porcaria vineyard)
The cru Porcaria has not been bottled as we had too little grapes of this top location in 2012. The wine was blended into the classic MunJebel® Rosso 9.
Nerello Mascalese 100% (no bottles produced)
MunJebel® Rosso 9 CS (Chiusa Spagnolo vineyard)
The Chiusa Spagnolo vineyard was planted ungrafted in the mid 1930’s and located at a relatively low altitude of 620m. It is a comb surrounded by rock from a lavaflow which accentuates tannins. Although lower than our Barbabecchi vineyard where we produce our “grand vin” Magma®, both vineyards are located on the geology surrounding the village of Solicchiata which expresses more tannins than for example the area of Passopisciaro. A complex and dense wine destined for aging.
Nerello Mascalese 100% (1.450 bottles, 65 magnums and 3 double-magnums produced)
MunJebel® Rosso 9 MC (Monte Colla vineyard)
The Monte Colla vineyard has been planted between 1946-1948 and is situated between 740-800m. elevation. It is a very steep, terraced hillside, facing south/south-west, opposit of Mount Etna. The Monte Colla cru in 2012 is a dense and broad wine, with a little residual sugar (+/- 7 grams) giving it balance and elegance.
Nerello Mascalese 100% (1.500 bottles, 85 magnums and 3 double-magnums produced)
MunJebel® Rosso 9 VA (Vigne Alte)
Our cru Vigne Alte, meaning the High Vineyards, is produced from our 3 highest vineyards, ungrafted: contrada Tartaraci, contrada Barbabecchi and contrada Monte Dolce. Although this 2012 vintage produced an unusually big wine for the altitude where the vineyards are located, the wine shows again it’s typical violet aromas. Complex, elegant and long with unusually dark colour this year.
Nerello Mascalese 100% (1.450 bottles, 60 magnums and 3 double-magnums produced)
Magma® Rosso 9 (Barbabecchi vineyard)
The 9th edition of Magma®, our “Grand Vin”, from the 2011 vintage is beautifully balanced. 2011 has been a great vintage of unusual complexity where we reached a rare maturity grade combined with the perfect cosmic picking time. The nose is complex and has a nearly “sweet” touch with the typical flavours of oriental spices from our ungrafted Barbabecchi vineyard at 910 m. elevation. A classic.
Nerello Mascalese 100% (970 bottles and 50 magnums produced)