In a nutshell: An intense and spicy organic Sicilian red from the foothills of Mount Etna.
The lowdown: With their vineyards sitting around the northern edges of Mount Etna the Tornatore family have been cultivating the soils here for centurys. In more recent times they've built themselves quite a reputation for the wines of this area. Their Etna Rosso is a blend of indigenous varieties Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio which, after being fermented in stainless steel, is aged in oak barrels before bottling. The result is a bright, ruby red wine with aromas of red fruits, morello cherry and black cherry while on the palate there's a savouriness with hints of leather and tobacco giving a quite meaty feel. The acidity keeps it fresh and the tannins are well balanced giving it a satisfying fullness in the mouth as it moves to the lengthy finish.
When to drink: With a touch of smoky savouriness it goes particularly well with roasted meats from beef and vension through poultry and feathered game.
Firsat established in 1865 and still run by the same family Tornatore are one of the oldest producers in the region. They have 46ha of vineyards on the north side of active volcano Mount Etna, 1,000m above sea level. The focus at Tornatore is on native grape varieties: Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio, Carricante and Catarratto. While the varietals used are traditional, their winemaking style is more modern in approach, with lower alcohol and more emphasis on fruit. Their wines have quickly become very popular and offer incredible complexity and intrigue at a very affordable price.