Alta Mora Etna Rosso is 100% Nerello Mascalese grapes - which are indigenious to Sicily and the predominant red grape of Mt. Etna. Many wine enthusiasts compare this wine to a Nebbiolo or Pinot Noir. The deeply colored, thick-skinned grapes contribute gritty tannins and vibrant acidity.
Cusumano has recently invested heavily in improvingtechnology and endeavored to improve the condition in which grapes arrive at their facilities. The team has started to bring in all grapes by hand, as opposed to resorting to pumps, as they did in the past. Gentler handling means grapes now reach the presses with skins intact and totally dry, greatly reducing the risk of premature oxidation or bacterial spoilage. Cusumano has also purchased many new small tanks in order to vinify the grapes from their estates parcel by parcel. Last but not least, twenty years of experience has led Cusumano to the realization that their vineyards in the Ficuzza area are especially suited to white grapes; consequently, the team is uprooting four hectares of Nero d’Avola and Cabernet Sauvignon, replacing them with local and international white grapes. Finally, Cusumano plans to release the new Carricante wine from their Etna AltaMora estate, where they own seven hectares in the Contrada Arrigo; they have also bought two more hectares of Nerello Mascalese in the area of Passo Cannone. - From Sicily: Where Great Wines and Lava Flow (Aug 2019) by Ian D’Agata