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by Alek Leontie December 28, 2022 3 min read

Beautiful “Blanc de Noirs” from the Slopes of Mt. Etna!

Dear Friend,

For the last couple of years, I have been touting the wines from Mount Etna in Sicily. The wines from here are slowly gathering more fans. There are many terrific values to be found from this dramatically beautiful part of the wine world. One of the aspects I find most impressive is that while there are plenty of places that produce high quality white and red wines, in this corner of the world, you will also find a few incredible sparkling wines! The last few Decembers I have featured Murgo Sparkling Brut, and I still have not found a better bottle of bubbles for under $25.00. If you think Italy makes only Prosecco, stop in for a bottle. This sparkler tastes much more like a fine French Champagne, only at half to a third of the price!

Wine Barrels

The Scammacca del Murgo family has been farming close to Mount Etna since about 1860. This regularly active volcano has destroyed the land and covered the family home in ash multiple times. Back then, they were farming mostly olive and fruit trees producing oil and jams. In 1981, Baron Emanuele Scammacca del Murgo took over the family farm with the intention of making great wine from this fertile yet frustrating terroir. The Baron was a diplomat and served as Italy's ambassador to the Vatican, Brussels and Moscow among other positions. He moved back to his family’s land and with the help of his eight sons, was one of the first to tout the exceptional terroir of their land. They were the first estate in Sicily to bottle a sparkling wine using the "methode champenoise" with 100% Nerello Mascalese in 1990.

Nerello Mascalese is a red indigenous varietal to Sicily that thrives on the island’s high-altitude vineyards and volcanic soils. The grapes for the sparkling Brut are hand-harvested from Santa Venerina, which has soils that are mostly decomposed lava; these soils are porous and mineral-rich. Mount Etna is one of the few wine regions in the world that still has pre-phylloxera vines; they joke that some of their vines are older than the family themselves! The grapes are gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel tanks, then aged on lees for two years. Secondary fermentation, just like in Champagne, is done in the bottle.

If you are interested in today’s featured wine, please reply to this email, call your nearest location, or follow this link to order. Curbside pickup or delivery is available. I have tasted the last four vintages of this wine and it simply over-delivers like very few wines we have sold. This is a small-production, hand-crafted bottle of delicious bubbles for under $20 bucks – a true unicorn in this business! This is a perfect bottle to enjoy with oysters, sushi or even garlic shrimp, and at this price, grab a few bottles to ring in the New Year!


Alek Leontie



Murgo Método Classico Brut 2019 - Mount Etna, Sicily 750mL

91 Points - Wine & Spirits Magazine
"A silky mousse dovetails with flavors of tangy citrus and a hint of red berries, those fruit tones woven with bright salinity and lemony acidity. This is a pure Nerello Mascalese grown on the eastern slopes of Sicily’s Mt. Etna, the wine’s clean and zesty finish a match for seafood."

Sale Price: $19.99 (Save 20%)
Sale Valid: 12/28/22 - 01/06/2023
Regular Price: $24.99 each

Buy Now

Alek Leontie
Alek Leontie

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