I was hesitant to write about this Sicilian blanc de noir made from nerello mascalese; I haven't written a word about a red nerello yet so it seemed odd to start with an atypical white one. Yet this site IS supposed to be about surprising wines so I popped it open.
When I took a sniff of Terrazze Dell' Etna's Ciura I thought "grass" but this isn't the grass clipping taste of a NZ sauvignon blanc. It something dried, almost like hay. Think hay on a fall afternoon. But this is buried when you taste since the crispness and minerality of this wine slaps you across the face.
There isnt a great deal of fruit when you first sip this but as it warms and gets some air fruit comes out. This isn't citrus fruit, which is what my brain was telling me to expect, but more white orchard fruits like pears and a bit of something ripe and tropical. There is a hint of something floral and a mineral bite at the finish too.
Nerello mascalese is a Sicilian grape that is usually a red wine. As noted on a few other occasions, ANY grape can make a white wine. What generally imparts color into a wine is contact with the skin of the grape. Press the juice and get it away from the skin? Your wine will be white (there are some rare exceptions to this). This wine is 90 percent nerello mascalese and 10 percent carricante. Carricante is a white Sicilian grape with high acidity. It has apparently been associated with Mount Etna for centuries.
This is a wine with some body and complexity but it is also at home on a warm, summer afternoon.