VINO DI ANNA, Anna Martens and Eric Narioo, Etna
Anna Martens trained with Brian Croser for eight years and also worked with Ornellaia and Passopisciaro. She settled in Sicily with husband Eric Narioo of Les Caves de Pyrene, UK importers of the most amazing wines one will ever come across and taste.
The rest of the story is told by Jamie Goode: ‘They now own 2 hectares of old alberello (bush) vines, most of which are Nerello Mascalese, but also including other varieties such as Nerello Cappuccio, Grecianco and Carricante. The vineyards are at altitude (760-900metres) and are farmed organically.
The Vino di Anna wines are made on their small property without much intervention, using native yeasts and no additives, save for a little SO2 in some lots (normally nothing is added at all). A variety of vessels are used for fermentation, including Palmento, old barrels and a Georgian qvevri.
The Palmento is interesting. It is a traditional, multi-level winery, and the most traditional of these are carved into the rocks. The top level contains vats in which the grapes are foottrodden. The free run juice then flows into another vat on the next level where it ferments. The skins and pips remaining on the top level are pressed under a wicker mat (a ‘donkey’) and the extracted juice joins the free-run in the lower vat where fermentation takes place over a few days. Then the wine goes down another level into barrels’
‘Three days of maceration in Palmento. Pure, silky, elegant and fresh with joyful fruit and a hint of earthiness. Amazing elegance and freshness with juicy cherries and some tannin.’
93/100 Jamie Goode