Etna is so hot right now. The white still fly under the radar, though. That is too bad. They are delicious.
Graci is part of the so-called “second generation” of Etna vintners, discovering new possibilities after the likes of Benanti, Franchetti, Marco de Grazi (Tenute Terre Nere), and Foti. These new producers are offering amazing wines for a lot less money than the first generation, and I find them in many cases to be more finessed and interesting wines.
The younger critics are getting very excited about Alberto Graci and his wines, and I can understand why. Graci farms organically and uses only cement and old wooden casks called “tini” for fermentation. He believes the reductive winemaking possible with large oak vessels suits Etna fruit far better than the micro-oxygenation of barriques. Vines are bush trained in the alberello style. Of course, fermentations are indigenous.
Morocco meets Etna
This entry-level white wine (a blend of Carricante and Catarratto) was waxy, medium bodied, aromatic, and orchard fruited but lively and perfect with the cuisine of Mourad Lahlou, one of the best chefs in San Francisco, at his new Mourad restaurant in Soma. Mourad is from Morocco and making Michelin starred cuisine with a serious nod to his homeland. The restaurant paired the wine with a giant octopus tentacle with Moroccan spices. It worked perfectly.
The winery deserves an importer.
The restaurant deserves a visit.
Available on the list at Mourad, SF