Etna, Sicily: Sciara


Stef Yim was a sommelier in Los Angeles, and during his time working in restaurants he became fascinated by wines from volcanic soils. He also wanted to make wine, and his first attempt at this was with a couple of tons of grapes he bought from Lake County in California. Then in 2008 he moved to France, travelled to Madiran and worked as an intern for three vintages there. Afterwards, he pursued his volcanic dreams and almost bought vines on Tenerife, but then came to Etna, which he figured would be less isolating. He bought vines in nine different contrada and has made a series of wines based on altitude, which is why they have numbers. All fermentations are with wild yeast with no temperature control.

Sciara Ubriaco Sulla Luna 2021 Etna, Italy
This is a skin-fermented white from three parcels and a range of varieties. The grapes spend 20 days on their skins in ceramic spheres (Clayvers). Full yellow/gold in colour, this has a deep colour with a hint of mint, fennel and pine nut on the nose. The palate has layered flavours with pear and citrus as well as a lovely texture, showing complexity and detail. 95/100

Sciara 760 Etna Rosso 2020
90% Nerello Mascalese, 10% Nerello Cappuccio, from Taccione and Sciaranuova. 20% new oak, 80% fibreglass. 20 month elevage. Supple and elegant with fine spiciness and nice detail. Juicy and linear with grainy texture, good structure and drinkability. 94/100

Sciara 980 Etna Rosso 2020
From three parcels. The backbone is Carrana (930 m) with Monte Doice (900 m) and Rampanti (also called Batbabecchi, 860-990 m). 100% Nerello Mascalese, aged 20 months in a mix of barrel and fibreglass. This is supple and fresh with fine redcurrant and strawberry notes as well as a touch of raspberry. Lovely direct fruit here with a stony minerality and hints of sour cherry. Lively and juicy with some structure. 94/100

Sciara 1200 Etna Rosso 2020
This is Garnacha from Nave, fermented in an amphora buried in the vineyard at 1200 m. Lovely supple red fruits with red cherries and some stony notes. Very fine with redcurrants, spice and a hint of ginger. Structured and fresh with lovely purity and refinement. 96/100

Sciara Centenario 2021
From 630 m, this is 100% Nerello Mascalese on its own roots. 75% amphora, 25% fibreglass, 20 month elevage. Warm, rounded and supple with fine-grained tannins providing some grip. Peppery, vital palate with juiciness and a touch of tar and spice. Detailed, rounded and warm. 94/100

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