Open Bottle - Alta Moro Etna Rosso!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Time: 04:00pm - 08:00pm

Type: Wine Tasting

Location: The Wine Cabinet

Event Free

Every Thursday from 4:00 until 8:00 pm we open a special bottle of wine and offer to you at a highly discounted price.
The wines are typically 90 points or better and are discounted 20-40%. Sometimes even more! when we can get special pricing from our vendors , we pass the savings along to you!!
Come in on Thursday and sample. If you can't make it, call us and we can put some aside for you!! 
(All purchases must be accompanied by a credit card.)


Cusumano Family

100% Nerello Mascalese

Castiglione di Sicilia, Italy

This winery from the Cusumano family is in the fertile volcanic soils of Mt. Etna, made from 100% Nerello Mascalese grapes which is indigenous to the region. The name Alta Mora translates to “Tall, Black” representing the great heights of the vineyards on the mountain and the dark, black volcanic soil.

There is a lot going on with the mid palate of this bottling. One minute you think your drinking a Langhe Nebbiolo then next you think it’s a full bodied Willamette Valley Pinot Noir! Medium bodied it pairs well with most fare and at this price you can enjoy it midweek with no guilt!


94 Points The Wine Enthusiast, Editors' Choice

"Enticing scents of wild red berry, baking spice, aromatic herb and a balsamic note waft out of the glass. The elegant, juicy palate doles out succulent wild cherry, crushed raspberry, cinnamon and a note of white pepper while a mineral note backs up the finish. It's well balanced, with bright acidity and ultrafine tannins."

91 Points  Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

"This is the base red from the Cusumano brothers' Etna estate. The 2014 Etna Rosso (100% Nerello Mascalese) is tempered and elegant. It offers pretty ruby color saturation and bright aromatic intensity. The bouquet delivers wild berry, cassis, dry earth and tobacco. It is aged in large oak casks for just six months, so you really get a good taste of the fresh fruit at hand. Grapes are harvested and blended from three separate vineyards, Verzella, Pietramarina and Feudo di Mezzo. With 23,500 bottles produced, this is another recommended value buy." 

Our Thoughts.........

Perfumed with tons of ripe cherry, currants, dried flowers, dried earth and underbrush/forest floor-like aromas and flavors. With a big Pinot Noir-like elegance and purity, this medium-bodied, seamless red just glides across the palate, has fine tannin, and an undeniable minerality on the finish.
It's impressive, as well as a great value.

Our Regular Price $29.99
Special Sale Price 
 $19.00 a bottle

$96.00 for six! ($16/bottle)


Call us to order 703-668-WINE(9463)



Curiosity of Wine Words Wisdom,  Richard Marcis

 Making Wine in the Shadow of a Volcano
Among Italy’s numerous and vibrant wine regions, the Mount Etna region in northeastern Sicily seems an unlikely site for producing any wines let alone quality wines. Mount Etna is an active, fearsome volcano that has erupted from time to time, sometimes savagely, for thousands of years. Nonetheless, it is one of Italy’s hottest wine regions, so to speak, and vintners are now scrambling to purchase vineyard property in the region.
As if proximity to Europe’s most active and fearsome volcano wasn’t enough to make growing grapes here a daunting proposition, there are other intimidating considerations.
Etna’s primary wine producing zone rises up the slopes of Mount Etna to an elevation of 3,500 feet and higher - the highest commercial vineyards in the world. Such high-elevation vineyards present some unique problems for vintners. The steeply-sloped, terraced vineyards are difficult to navigate with mechanical equipment so most of the tending and harvesting of the vines has to be done by hand, a time-consuming and expensive proposition. Winters at these high elevations can also be harsh and the summers hot and dry. You have to be committed, patient and tough to run a winery on Mount Etna.
So, what is it that makes this area so attractive to winemakers? Why are they stumbling over one another in their rush to establish vineyards here?
First and foremost is the fact that Etna’s soil is rich with volcanic nutrients that are very hospitable to growing grapes. The high elevation vineyards are also an inviting environment for growing grapes. Grapevines at these high elevations benefit from the hot Mediterranean sun while the warm Mediterranean breezes are conducive to an extended growing season. Significantly, there is also considerable variation between day and night-time temperatures at these high elevations. Such temperature variations work to the benefit of grapes in that it not only facilitates berry growth and coloration but also promotes complexity in grape flavors.
So if you don’t dwell on the vicissitudes of the unpredictable volcano next door, Mount Etna is actually an excellent area for growing quality wine grapes. This area has, in fact, exerted a powerful pull on winemakers for centuries and vineyards have flourished here as far back as the 6th century BC when the Greeks first colonized Sicily. Ancient writers and poets sung the praises of Mount Etna wines.
Despite its long and illustrious wine history, Mount Etna wines faded into obscurity for most of the modern era. Even though Mount Etna received DOC status in 1968, Sicily’s first, enlightened winemaking and critical acclaim came late and reluctantly to the Etna region. It wasn’t until very recently that the Etna region began to reestablish its reputation as a premier wine growing region.
If any one development can be cited as marking Etna’s entry into the modern winemaking mainstream, it probably would be when Giuseppe Benanti began producing some serious wines from local varieties grown on his farm in the Etna region in the early 1990’s. His wines received great critical acclaim from wine cognoscenti and consumers alike and focused attention on the Mount Etna wine region as a source of quality wines. His success also caught the attention of other winemakers and precipitated a land rush for vineyard properties that reached a critical mass at the turn of the century.
Today there are a number of quality-oriented wineries in the Mount Etna area and more are on the way. Just about every major Sicilian winery as well as some marquee-name wine producers from mainland Italy have been buying up land and vineyards in the Mount Etna area.
For example, Marco de Grazia, a highly-regarded American exporter of quality Italian wines decided that the Etna region looked promising and was where he wanted to start his own winery. He bought land there and founded Tenuta delle Terre Nere (which roughly translates as “farm of the black earth”) and has since 2002 been producing several outstanding Mount Etna wines. Other boldface names in the wine world, such as Antinori and the wine consulting superstars, brothers Riccardo and Renzo Cotarella, have either already bought land or are reportedly planning to do so.
Another attractive feature of the Etna region from a winemaking perspective is that some of the vines in Mount Etna’s vineyards are extremely old. Etna’s rich volcanic soil also contains a high concentration of sand, a combination that has proved to be highly resistant to the phylloxera root pest that decimated other European vineyards in the late 1800’s. Vineyards throughout Europe were wiped out for an extended period by the phylloxera root louse but Etna’s vineyards with their volcanic, sandy soil were spared. The result is that some of Mount Etna’s grape vines are well over a century old with some reaching the two century mark. While these ancient vines may be gnarly and fragile, they produce some amazing wine grapes.
Mount Etna’s Grape Varieties and Types of Wine
The wines of the Etna region are primarily dry red and white wines but also include a few rosato (rosè) wines. Etna Rosso (Etna red) wines are blended wines. By regulation they must have a minimum of 80 percent Nerello Mascalese (neh rel’ loh mahs’ kah ley’ zeh), a little-known indigenous variety that is produced only in the Mount Etna region. It is a deeply colored, thick-skinned variety that contributes gritty tannins and vibrant acidity to the Etna Rosso blend.