Mortellito Rosso Calaniuru 2021
75% Frappato, 25% Nero d'Avola
Mortellito [MORT-el-li-to] is in Val di Noto*, in the corner of Sicily that lies at the same latitudes as North Africa’s arid desert climate. Its vineyards are a few kilometers from the coast, with grooves of ancient olive and almonds trees breaking the wind off the sea. Abandoned and still working fishing ports dot the landscape. Owner Dario Serrentino has always enjoyed the contrasts of this coastal growing area, which he calls ‘a desert next to the beach.’ Over the years, lucky for us, he’s learned to coax extremely elegant wines from this receding coast of limestone, which, he says, is ‘the magic to produce wines with tension, freshness, and complex salinity.’ In Dario’s best vintages, his rosso and bianco wines have a tapering, svelte finish, that’s cool and salt-dusted. Drinking them is akin to a dive into the nearby Ionian sea on a hot summer day.