Palmento Costanzo

Sicily - Italy

The Winery

In the year 2000, Mimmo Costanzo and his wife, Valeria, purchased 7 visually stunning hectares in the Contrada Santo Spirito cru, pressed onto the north slope of Mt. Etna. As this terraced ‘moonscape’ lies partially within the Parco dell’Etna, the estate is actually part of a protected Unesco site. Ergo, while the Costanzo’s have added a few more hectares in the interim, nothing can be altered or changed over time. Their vines range in age from 7 to an incredible 120 years, with altitudes spanning 550 – 800 meters and roots diving down into vent-based, volcanic sands and lava-based basalt. At 8,000 vines per hectare, the plant density recalls Valle d’Aosta, with its packed terraces clinging onto steep slopes. Combined with picking by hand, organic farming, and low yields, this unique set of conditions helps to create some of the most astonishing wines in the Small Vineyards portfolio.

Baseline of all Palmento Costanzo’s red wines is the formidable Nerello Mascalese. A late-ripening varietal, this grape is known for taut, herbaceous flavors, along with high minerality and nuanced, earthy tones. Surprisingly, DNA suggests that it’s actually the once upon a time offspring of Sangiovese! Growing alongside it is Nerello Cappuccio, a ‘little brother’ that ripens slightly earlier, and whose color and perfume are used to soften the edges of Mascalese. Both clones of Nerello are high in natural acidity and possess pronounced "vertical" tannins, making a compare/contrast with old-fashioned Nebbiolo a fascinating exercise.

Enologist
Nicola Centonze
Grapes Grown by Winery
Carricante, Catarratto, Nerello Cappuccio, Nerello Mascalese
Vineyard Size
14.0 ha
Winemaker
Mimmo Costanzo
Winemaker Biography
Making wine high on the side of an active volcano may not be everyone’s calling, but it suits Mimmo Costanzo to a ‘T’. Alongside his wife, Valeria, he creates wines with incredible, big-boned structure, intense minerality, and finesse. Ever committed to the environment, Mimmo has also all but effaced the estate’s carbon footprint.
Winemaker Generation
1st
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Bianco di Sei Bianco Etna DOC

Palmento Costanzo sets the bar high even for Etna, one of Italy's most visceral winemaking regions. With vines ranging 30-100 years of age, and 8000 plants per hectare at an average of 750, this is the creme de la creme! "Bianco di Sei" refers to "six", which is the top designation for volcanic activity, and is the top tier white from this estate. Intense and elegant, with an endless array of high altitude fruits, white blossoms, fresh herbs and a paradoxical freshness.

Color
Straw yellow
Nose
Subtropical fruit, with white flowers, sage and mint
Palate
Savory and full-bodied, yet fresh
Finish
Long and lingering
Vineyard Location
Etna DOC, Sicily
Vineyard Size
10 ha
Varietals List
90% Carricante
10% Catarratto
Farming Practices
Organic (non-certified); grapes dry-farmed and picked by hand; advanced bioarchitecture ensures low carbon footprint
Elevation
680 m
Soils
Basalt with brownish volcanic sands and lava stones
Maturation Summary
In Steel for 6 months and Bottled for 6 months
In Steel
6 months
Alcohol
12.0 %
Acidity
6 g/liter
Residual Sugar
1 g/liter
Annual Production
30,000 bottles

Mofete Bianco Etna DOC

Located in Etna National Park, Palmento Costanzo is a natural glory to behold. With about 10 hectares of 30-120 year-old, bush-trained vineyards, it is situated on the steep, northern slopes of the volcano in Contrada Santo Spirito, close to Passopisciaro. Mofete Bianco is made with Carricante and Catarratto, and due to its basalt-based soil, has a mineral intensity that is awe-inspiring. Fruity and flowery on the nose, with yellow citrus pulp, balsamic and mineral hints. Fresh, long, and structured in the mouth.

Color
Medium straw yellow
Nose
Fragrant citrus and mineral notes, with hints of Mediterranean herbs
Palate
Lush, Sicilian fruit paired with an intense minerality
Finish
Mouth filling, long lasting
Vineyard Location
Etna DOC, Sicily
Vineyard Size
10 ha
Varietals List
70% Carricante
30% Catarratto
Farming Practices
Organic (non-certified); grapes dry-farmed and picked by hand; advanced bioarchitecture ensures low carbon footprint
Elevation
680-750 m
Soils
Basalt with brownish volcanic sands and lava stones
Maturation Summary
In Steel for 4 months and Bottled for 2 months
In Steel
4 months
Alcohol
12.0 %
Acidity
5.5 g/liter
Residual Sugar
1 g/liter
Annual Production
30,000 bottles

Mofete Rosso Etna DOC

Palmento Costanzo is quickly making waves as a top boutique estate in Italy’s trendy Etna appellation. Located on northern slopes in the protected Etna National Park, the rosso vineyards are 5-30 years old. “Mofete” refers to the plumes of smoke from the volcano, and the basalt soils of Mt. Etna lend this bold wine a minerality that is uncommon for reds. The nose offers spicy wild herbs, dark fruit, and ash. The palate is vibrant and intense, with “vertical” tannins that stand at attention!

Color
Ruby red
Nose
Spicy, with hints of wild herbs, rose, and volcanic ash
Palate
Dark, juicy fruit with vertical tannins and a pronounced minerality
Finish
Full, bright, and structured finish
Vineyard Location
Etna DOC, Sicily
Vineyard Size
10 ha
Varietals List
80% Nerello Mascalese
20% Nerello Cappuccio
Farming Practices
Organic (non-certified); grapes dry-farmed and picked by hand; advanced bioarchitecture ensures low carbon footprint
Elevation
680-750 m
Soils
Basalt with brownish volcanic sands and lava stones
Maturation Summary
In large, neutral barrels for 6 months, in Steel 6 months and bottled 6 months
In Steel
6 months
Alcohol
13.5 %
Acidity
5 g/liter
Residual Sugar
1.8 g/liter
Annual Production
30,000 bottles

Nero di Sei Rosso Etna DOC

Palmento Costanzo in Etna is a truly compelling estate in one of Italy's most exciting and visceral winemaking regions. With vines over 120 years old, 8000 vines planted per hectare, and 750 meters of altitude, this flagship wine makes the senses positively reel! Huge structure is softened by smooth tannins and layer upon layer of dark fruit and volcanic earth. Velvety, balanced and persistent, Nero di Sei is a sheer marvel on the palate.

Color
Intense ruby red
Nose
Dark berry and volcanic minerality
Palate
Prominent, smooth tannins and layer upon layer of dark fruit and earth
Finish
Long and complex, with hints of almond skin
Vineyard Location
Etna DOC, Sicily
Vineyard Size
10 ha
Varietals List
80% Nerello Mascalese
20% Nerello Cappuccio
Farming Practices
Organic (non-certified); grapes dry-farmed and picked by hand; advanced bioarchitecture ensures low carbon footprint
Elevation
680-750 m
Soils
Basalt with brownish volcanic sands and lava stones
Maturation Summary
In Large French barrels for 24 months and bottled for 12 months
Alcohol
14.0 %
Acidity
5 g/liter
Residual Sugar
1.8 g/liter
Annual Production
36,000 bottles