So named after the local, Catanese family of (daughter) Sandra, Rosario (Rori) & his wife Cinzia (Parasiliti) – esSeRCi! – SRC Vini is a brand new producer on Sicilia’s Monte Etna. In 2013 Cinzia & Rori Parasiliti were inspired to buy a small vineyard by their old family friend, Alberto Aiello Graci, whose cantina they had visited in 2010. In fact, Rori gave his wife the first 0.5ha of contrada Crasà in the village of Solicchiata/Castiglione di Sicilia as a present; so pleased was she that he promptly bought the other 0.5ha to complete the vineyard! Rori & Cinzia then set about making the vintage 2013, 2014 & 2015 wines in a garage close their vineyards.
Meanwhile they enlarged the property, buying the contradas of Calderara, Rivaggi & Pirao in Randazzo, plus Barbabecchi in Castiglione di Sicilia, taking it to 8ha. The vineyards range in altitude from between 600m – 1000m asl, on the sought after north-west facing slopes of the volcano, on ancient, fertile lava & more recent, less fertile (1981!) magma flows; key is the ginestra/bloom that breaks down the rocks with their roots! Rori is meticulous in the vineyard, that have been organic since acquired (although being Etna, disease pressure is naturally low), while they are now seeking certification. Vine age of the free-standing alberello Nerello Mascalese & Granaccia plants is circa 80 years old, while VSP/spalliera rows are of younger vines (for the Rosato & Bianco). They also grow some Minnella, Catarratto & Carricante for the Rosato & Bianco.
In 2016 they built a new cantina, installing new cement instead of many of the stainless tanks, which Rori would prefer not to use so much; tonneaux being replaced with botti grandi. Fermentations of the reds are in round plastic open tubs, with approx. 15 days on the skins, followed by malo in stainless-steel or cement. Their ‘SRC’ (from vintage 2017 ‘Etna Rosso’) is vinified solely in cement, as is their top Nerello Mascalese wine ‘Alberello’; ‘Rivaggi’, a blend of Nerello Mascalese & (20%) Granaccia sees stainless-steel & 2 months in used 500-700litre tonneaux. They also make a Bianco & original Rosato, an historic blend of 70% Nerello Mascalese & 30% Minella, Catarratto & Carricante! They currently make 18k bottles from 8ha, thanks to naturally low yields of circa 15HL/ha, hence average production/wine: c. 1.3k bts of Rosato, 1k bts Bianco, 10k bts of SRC, 1.9k bts of Rivaggi, & 1.9k bts of Alberello.
And thanks to the fastidious work in the vineyard – Rori has a team of 4 people – the wine is bottled with approx. 65mg of total sulphur, or c. 10 mg free, so keeping them fresh & precise.
2013 Rosato – tasted May’18, the wine of which Rori is arguably most proud! Indeed the 2013 was his first ever wine, producing all 800 bottles of it. And the secret of its success, & longevity: a blend that includes 30% white grapes of Minella, Carricante & Catarratto (that & the DIAM10 cork!)! The rest is Nerello Mascalese, from his Castiglione di Sicilia contrada of Crasà, macerated for 48hrs before being racked off the skins. Hence the beautiful rich rose/mandarin colour, full, still very fruity & fresh (sealed with a DIAM10), zippy, rich with bitter orange fruit. Impressive & delicious too!
2016 ‘SRC’ (Etna) Rosso – tasted May 2018. Fruit from the Contradas of Crasa and Calderara, vines c. 80 years old, planted at c. 650 metres asl. Cement only, unfiltered, unoaked, very pretty. 80% Nerello Mascalese, and the rest is made up of indigenous varieties including Nerello Cappuccio, and Mirello Rossa. Lots of cool, crunchy red fruit, blood orange, pomegranate, and silky tannins, herbal notes. Beautifully pure and bright, with energy and finesse. A very complete wine…the equivalent of a classic Barbaresco or Barolo in the Langhe! Approachable even at a young age.
2014 ‘SRC’ (Etna) Rosso – tasted May’18, 14%, 2.6k bts made, from 80yo alberello Nerello vines in the Etna Rosso DOC contradas of Calderara & Crasà in Castiglione di Sicilia; vinified first in plastic open tubs for c. 15 days on the skins, then transferred to new cement tanks for the remainder, no oak, bottled with c. 10mg of sulphur libero/free. Lots of pretty, joyous, blood orange, black pepper fruit. Lovely detail, soft fruit, juicy & nicely balanced. Very definite, classic lines, indubbiamente Etna Rosso!
2016 ‘Rivaggi’ – tasted May 2018. Fruit from Contrada da Rivaggi. 80yo vines at 950 metres asl.80% Nerello Mascalese, 20% Grenache (which is known to grow very well at high altitude). This has had 6 months in stainless steel, then 2 months in botti grandi, then back to stainless steel before bottling. Concentrated, slightly more serious versus the ‘SRC’ Rosso, with notes of dark cherry as well as red berry fruit, little cranberry notes giving it lift, and a certain richness and expansive quality on the palate. Bold yet fine tannins lend good structure and ageing potential – needs time…
2014 ‘Rivaggi’ – tasted May’18, 1.8k bts, from low yielding (c. 15HL/ha!) 80 yo alberello vines from the contrada da Rivaggi in Randazzo. Given the 950m asl altitude – outside the 600/850m asl Etna Rosso DOC zone – the locals had wisely decided to plant 20% of the vineyard to Granaccia (Grenache), to bring a fruity silky softness to the energetic wine. Vinified in stainless-steel, also MLF, then aged for only 2 mths in used tonneaux, before returning to stainless steel (because Rori doesn’t like the influence of French oak!) Very fine, pretty perfume, snello/slender, ribes fragrance, cerise, ice-cream (oak) creaminess, wild strawberry, a real little gem from the ‘perfect’ 2014 vintage. Slightly reminds me of a Barolo Parafada or Prapò!
2016 ‘Alberello’ – from the Contrada of Crasà. 100% Nerello Mascalese from very old vines (up to 90yo!). Very low yields, vines planted at 650 metres asl. Lighter in colour and more lively than the Rivaggi. Piercing purity of crunchy red berry fruit, hint of wild rose, very perfumed, cool and precise, with elegant tannins and structure. Great freschezza from the acidity and that mineral edge from volcanic soils. Very concentrated, taught, alive…the Serralunga or Castiglione (Falletto!) of Etna!?
2014 ‘Alberello’ – tasted May’18, from the 80-90 yo low yielding alberello vines in the Crasà contrada of Castiglione di Sicilia, 100% Nerello Mascalese, vinified in plastic tubs then cement. So different from the ‘Rivaggi’, & not just because of the absence of oak, but also the Nerello Mascalese gives Rori’s top ‘Etna Rosso’ real energy: it’s so vertical, direct, austere, with Serralunga-esque cranberry, tiny red berried fruit, electric in fact! Crunchy rosehip fruit. Wow!!