2017 Girolamo Russo 'San Lorenzo Piano delle Colombe' Etna Rosso
There's a quiet contradiction that exists in Giuseppe Russo. On the one hand, he's pensive and soft-spoken, a former pianist who's been farming his family's vineyards since 2005. On the other, the wine's he crafts are powerful and precise, energetic and commanding, encapsulations of the singular terroir of the slopes of Mt. Etna and the character derived from its deeply volcanic soils. The 'Piano delle Combe' vineyard, situated on a southern slope of the volcano, a piece of land somewhat recently traversed by lava swells, is the prize of the Russo family property, and the wine it produces justifies its designation - sinewy and taut when it hits the palate, it unfolds to reveal a lush chorus of morello cherries, charred shishito pepper, scorched citrus peel, and purple-flower aromatics, with a porcine rusticity that walks up to the line of feral with out ever expressly crossing it. A delicate dance between elegance and brashness, choreographed by a master of Mt. Etna and its striking terroir.