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.
‘Anna Martens and her Etna wines are one of the most exciting discoveries I have made this year. I met Anna years ago when she had just left a cellar job at Tenuta dell’Ornellaia on the Tuscan coast and had a vague memory of her moving to Etna to work with Andrea Franchetti. But I didn’t know until recently that this petite Australian had started her own wine brand on the volcano. She runs a small vineyard with her husband Eric Narioo on the north face of Etna. Many of her head-trained vines reach 100 years of age and are planted up to 900 meters above sea level. She adopts a non-interventionists- philosophy with natural yeast, no fining or filtering, and little or no SO2. Her most exciting wine, Qvevri, is made in 2,000 liter Georgian clay vessels.’ eRobertParker.com #212 May 2014 Monica Larner
Don Alfio is only made in very good years. 120 year old Nerello Mascalese, some of them Franc de Pied (ungrafted) was hand harvested from “Don Alfio” vineyard located at 900 metres above Rovitello.
The fruit was 100% de-stemmed by hand into Georgian Qvevri. Alcoholic fermentation lasted just over two weeks followed by malolactic fermentation. The Qvevri was then closed and the grapes were left to macerate until April. The resultant wine was pressed and put in an old oak cask until bottling in September. No SO2 was added. The wine was neither fined nor filtered prior to bottling.
Floral and expressive in the nose, this wine has a fine, textural structure. Morello cherries are coupled with cherry blossom. The palate is taut, complex and long.