Ayunta Etna Bianco Piante Sparse 2018
White | Ready, but will improve | Ayunta | 2018 | Italy > Sicily > Mt Etna | Carricante 70%, Catarrato 20%, Inzolia, Zibibbo, Minella Bianca | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.5% abv
Filippo Mangione is originally from the other side of the island and has spent much of his career in wine sales, but poured his life savings into the rescue of three hectares of old vineyards (some vines up to 200-years-old) on the northern slopes of Mount Etna, 700 metres above sea level. An autodidact winemaker full of passion and intuition, Filippo's philosophy is very simple: "only grapes, only time and a small amount of sulphites, no other additives."
His Etna Bianco, Piante Sparse, is a blend of native grapes that are interplanted with his red grapes. Due to this and the altitude, they're picked quite late, by hand of course (no machinery here, it's back-breaking work). There's pure freshness at the core of this wine, and around it is plump, ripe, lingering stone fruit such as peaches as well as ripe pears, some attractive herbal notes and a hint of flint. Totally gorgeous.