Valenti Norma Etna Rosso 2011
s noted in The Wine Advocate, “The most exciting region in Sicily, and perhaps Italy, is Mount Etna...The native nerello mascalese produces a medium-bodied, aromatic red that stylistically and texturally shares much in common with Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo.” And, despite its color-challenged appearance, this freshly released 2011 “Norma” bottling, which is named after an opera by Vincenzo Bellini, totally delivers on that promise. Erupting from the glass, complex, low-toned nuances of leather, mountain herbs, lightly smoked game, wild mushrooms and pyroclastic minerals support primary notes of dried cherry and plum. The finish is long and the moderate tannins well integrated.
Serve with many full-flavored Italian dishes, especially those in which pasta or risotto meets lamb or beef. Feathered game and rabbit are also ideal pairings. For an authentic, vegetarian treat consider the classic Pasta alla Norma—a local dish made with tomatoes, fried eggplant, grated ricotta salata cheese and fresh basil.
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