After being told that Mount Etna could not make great wines by a local restaurateur Giuseppe Benanti decided to revive the old family tradition of viticulture. Finding the best of the traditional clones and using oenological consultants be built the estate that all Etna wines are now measured against.
I have to declare, I love this wine. A lot. Blood orange, ironstone, chinotto, smoke, stone, soot, hint of VA/hint of balsamic, dry spices, meat, mineral rich. The palate is plush, clay, tannic, driven, hint bitter almost vermouth like, dried herbs, complex and stunning. Get a bottle. Seriously, get two!
Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio – The two grapes of Etna Rosso DOC. Mascalese has to be at least 80% of the blend with Cappuccio making up the balance. To my palate Mascalese is the Pinot Noir like elegance and perfume of the blend while Cappuccio is the Merlot richness and roundness. Together they form a might combination.
Etna DOC Rosso – Must be at least 80% N.Mascalese up to 100%. The balance has to be N.Cappuccio. Etna is an active volcano and therefore the soils are the most mineral laden of any wine growing area. The altitude and higher than average precipitation (compared to the rest of Sicily) mean these are wines of texture, ripeness and power, but also structure and subtlety. The reds are like a glorious blend of Chinon, Nuits-St-Georges and Chianti.
Sicily – In a constant tussle with Puglia to win the title of largest volume produced each year, the wines of Sicily are as varied as its history. Delicate whites, full bodied reds and of course Marsala show the variation in climate and abilities of the various regions within the Island.