Once viewed as an obscure island, Sicily is now considered one of the most exciting wine regions in Italy. The movement is mostly centered around Mt. Etna -- with its volcanic soils, local grape varieties, and ancient high-altitude vineyards (depicted above) -- and there is no question that Benanti's is one of the most important wineries in the region.
Concentrated Nerello Mascalese tempered by lithe Nerello Cappuccio from north-facing and south-facing vineyards, for maximum complexity. Fermented using indigenous yeast, and aged in mostly stainless steel, although a small portion is aged in used oak. Bright, ripe cherries, green and black herbs, black tea and a hint of forest floor. Quite Nebbiolo-esque with its earthy, restrained fruit and refined, tight tannins.
"The 2017 Etna Rosso (made with 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio) offers a very smoky and ashy bouquet that tells you, without any doubt, that this is a wine from the mighty Etna volcano. Rose petal and light berry aromas blur and soften the lines of those pretty mineral notes that are so strong at the beginning. Blue violets and blueberries are delicate accents that fill out the close. This vintage really pulls it all together nicely, a great pairing for pappardelle with wild chanterelle mushrooms."
"A medium-bodied red, with a crisp tannic frame, this offers bright raspberry and strawberry fruit, revealing an underlay of fresh earth, spice and dried herb notes. Bright and elegant. Drink now through 2024"
"Smooth and bright, this boasts an earthy elegance, opening with aromas of wild berry, blue flower and Mediterranean herb that interlace with earthy whiffs of leather and game. The juicy, linear palate offers crushed red cherry, orange zest, star anise and white pepper alongside lithe tannins and lively acidity. It closes on a saline note."