Lamoresca 🌋🌋🌋

If there ever was a producer completely and uniquely representative of a place, it’s Sicily's Lamoresca.

Lamoresca's otherworldly vineyard; 📸 via SelectioNaturel

Between Etna and Vittoria and without another winery for 50 square miles, Filippo Rizzo and his family are making wine in the town where he was born. In an area known for grain production, they are an 11ha oasis of vineyards, olive and citrus groves, newly planted forest, wildlife – even the bees in their 4ha vineyard are a species extinct in the rest of Sicily.

But, the tiny estate is not a legacy inherited; after running a restaurant in Belgium and several years working with Etna legend Frank Cornelissen, Filippo and his wife Nancy started Lamoresca from scratch. This was 20 years ago, when the natural wine revolution was just spilling beyond France; Filippo is firmly one of Sicily's pioneers.

The soils there are compact sandstone; it’s hilly, very hot, with little rain – difficult to work to say the least. They’ve planted many of the varietals you’d see further south (Frappato, Nero d’Avola), which give the aromas of Vittoria alongside the power and texture of Etna’s volcanic wines.

Add their dedication to natural fermentations and low-to-no-SO2, and you have some of the most unique (and delicious) wines made on the island.

Filippo and Nancy’s son, Simon, visited us a couple weeks ago and walked us through the new release below. Re. the future? He noted they purposefully keep the lineup and production tight:

Lamoresca is passion above expansion – eschewing trendy new styles or cuvées in favor of a true expression of their special place.

One of the most delicious rosés we've tasted this year. A little darker and more structured than the prior vintage, it's mostly Nero and Frappato, with a touch of Moscato that punches things up aromatically just the right amount – a flirty little ruffle on the wine. Bright candy fruit, super fresh.

Capitano Nero is the local dialect's version of Frappato. This one is carefully hand harvested and fermented in stages; then pressed and aged in concrete to preserve the light, juicy character of the grape. Such a pure, yet very serious, expression of delightful Frappato.

Beautiful blend with a touch of grip from Nero d'Avola, and delicate red fruit from Frappato. It's super elegant, but the aromatics feel authentic and rustic: wild herbs, wild cherry, purple heirloom tomato. Let it open up: it's a wine to linger on throughout a meal.

Riserva wines land later this year.