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Centopassi Pietre a Purtedda

A blend of 70% Nerello Mascalese and 30% Nocera, both varieties typical of north-eastern Sicily, grown at 950 meters (3,100 feet) in the Portella della Ginestra vineyard, on the Belice Corleonese plateau. (The winery describes the vineyard as ‘a pile of stones at 1,000 meters in altitude.’) Planted in 2011. Exact position: 37° 58' 19.96" N    13° 14' 17.96" E.

The soil type is known as ‘regosuolo’, a reddish-brown, calcareous soil that is stony and full of rocky outcroppings. Alkaline pH. The grapes are harvested in late September or early October, de-stemmed and crushed, and fermented on their own yeasts. The wine is pressed off after about 12 days on the skins, then aged for 18 months in Taransaud puncheons, both new and used. The wine is bottled without filtration, and is quite dry. About 175 cases are produced each year.

The blend here is the same as for Faro, a tiny appellation near Messina in north-eastern Sicily, but transplanted to the western end of the island. Very high altitude, very distinctive rocky soil, late harvest for the region and this distinctive blend of varieties make for a deep, complex red wine, the flagship of the estate.