As we emerge from the winter of our discontent, the white wines of summer beckon, reminding us that sunnier days are ahead — both literally and figuratively. One that transported me instantly is the exquisite 2019 Etna Bianco from Sicily’s Murgo Winery.
For several years now, I’ve enjoyed another Murgo offering, the delicious Etna Rosso. It’s a phenomenal value and a must-try for anyone interested in exploring Nerello Mascalese, which, for me, is Sicily’s most exciting red variety.
Murgo’s 2019 Etna Bianco is a classic Sicilian blend of two indigenous white grapes — 70 percent Carricante and 30 percent Catarratto — that yields a delightfully refreshing and elegant wine marked by bright acidity and vivid fruit.
Fermented and aged in stainless steel, the tastes evoke orange, lime, green apple, and tropical fruit, punctuated by an almost chewy minerality that carries through on the long finish.
This minerality stems from the fact that the grapes are grown in volcanic soil on the eastern slopes of Mount Etna. All of that, combined with a mere 12 percent alcohol, makes this an irresistible summer quaffing wine and a perfect accompaniment to simply prepared fish and shellfish; clam sauce over pasta and shrimp scampi would be top choices.
The Murgo property, which includes about 75 acres of vineyards, has been in the Scammacca del Murgo family for more than a century. It was transformed into a modern estate in the early 1980s by Baron Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo, a former diplomat, with the help of his eight sons.
With their Etna Bianco and Etna Rosso, both priced at well under $20, Murgo consistently demonstrates the great values to be found in wines from Sicily — one of the world’s most dynamic and exciting wine regions.