I was more than pleasantly surprised at the quality delivered for the price of this very good Etna Bianco. If you are unfamiliar with the Carricante variety that thrives on the eastern slopes of Mount Etna, then this wine, which over delivers, will serve as a perfect introduction and reference point for further enjoyment and exploration.
Alta Mora by Cusumano definitely seems to have found its stride on Etna. The 2018 Etna Bianco is a lean to medium-bodied wine with lots of aromatic flinty and saline-like minerality. This is a delightful white wine with long persistence and a very fresh, snappy style. Refreshing and vibrant acidity like biting into a Granny Smith apple. This is an excellent value wine. Happy to report this 2018 vintage just received the highly coveted Tre Bicchieri award in the 2021 Gambero Rosso guide to Italian wines.
“The Cusumano family, led by brothers Diego and Alberto, have made exceptionally clever vineyard acquisitions on Etna, picking prime growing sites in the best Contrade, thus starting Alta Mora (the winery for their Etna portfolio) as a sister brand to the Cusumano line of wines from greater Sicily. In just a few years, Alta Mora has grown in parallel to Cusumano, adding prestige and pedigree to Cusumano’s important production power. Alta Mora is the proverbial tip of the family’s quality pyramid. The 2018 Etna Bianco is the base white wine from this Etna estate, but this pure expression of Carricante absolutely delivers the goods. It shows super crisp and sharp lines, with citrus, white peach and crushed stone. This vintage offers a balanced burst of crisp acidity that would taste beautifully next to a summer salad with tuna, cherry tomatoes, capers and olive oil. Some 35,000 bottles were made.” – 92 points, Wine Advocate (ML) – July 2019