Eric Asimov speaks again about Etna’s wines, this time focusing on Carricante. His article yesterday in The New York Times:
Milo is different from the rest of Etna’s grape-growing regions. The prodigious rainfall makes Milo white wine territory, and a welcoming home for the carricante grape in particular. “Carricante was born in Milo,” Mr. Foti said. Even the rule-enforcing bureaucrats have recognized Milo’s affinity for carricante, the best white wine grape on Sicily: Etna Bianco, made with a minimum of 60 percent carricante, can be produced throughout the Etna grape-growing regions. But Etna Bianco Superiore, a higher level of quality with a minimum of 80 percent carricante, can come from only Milo. If you’ve never heard of carricante, and if you thought Etna only produced reds, you are no doubt in good company. Eastern Sicily, including Etna, is dominated by red wines. Yet the whites, made primarily if not entirely of carricante, may be even more distinctive. The best carricantes, like Benanti’s Pietra Marina, are profoundly savory, with a striking saline flavor. In a word, salty.