Lu Veru Piaciri by Al-Cantàra is a blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio grown in the foothills of Mt. Etna, an active volcano in northeast Sicily.
The name of the wine, Lu Veru Piaciri, is Sicilian dialect for the Italian il vero piacere, meaning true pleasure. It’s taken from the title of a poem by Domenico Tempio, a once forgotten but now celebrated Sicilian poet of the 19th century, famous for his realist and erotic verses.
There’s a reasons why Lu Veru Piaciri has such an intriguing name and such an eye-catching label: the Al-Cantàra estate is an artist colony where residents all take part in the grape growing and winemaking process. The label was created by one of the artists in residence there.
Above: Al-Cantàra’s vineyards lie in the shadow of Mt. Etna, an active volcano.
Al-Cantàra is Arabic for the bridge. As the owners write on their website, the name “aims not only to emphasize the link with the Sicilian terroir, but to be the symbol of the union between wine, art and poetry. For this reason all the names of the wines are inspired by the poems by Sicilian authors such as Nino Martoglio, Micio Tempio, Giovanni Meli, Salvatore Di Pietro and Alfio Antico.”
The website is tri-lingual, btw, and is an excellent resource for info on the wines and the estate.
Etna has become a very popular appellation in recent years and many wineries imitate the “Burgundian style” in their wines: they go for a lighter and brighter flavor profile, often with prominent cherry and black cherry notes.
At Al-Cantàra, the winemaker goes for a much more earthy and meaty style, an approach that some would call more traditional-leaning.
Where most expressions of Etna tend to be dominated by fruit, Al-Cantàra Lu Veru Piaciri has a great balance of fruit and minerality. And where most bottlings of Etna tend to be very light on the palate, this wine has a wonderful texture to it.