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2015 Etna Rosso, Benanti

2015 Etna Rosso, Benanti

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80% Nerello Mascalese, 20% Nerello Cappuccio; indigenous varieties both albarello (bush) trained, both grapes live in the shadow of Nero d'Avola in Sicily, but the Benantis show just what can be done here.  We loved this wine, the combination of fresh cherry and 'tang' remind me of a richer Valpolicella, but with a wilder side. Matured in barrel for 8 months prior to release. Crisp red and black cherry fruit on the nose, thyme and oregano notes. A fresh, clean palate of wild cherry and strawberry, nice bite and integrated tannins - touch of savoury earthiness, perfect for food.

Now one of Sicily, indeed Italy's, most fashionable fine wine regions on the rise, the wines of Etna still only constitute 1% of the island's total production, but the family history here goes back to the late 1800s when Giuseppe Benanti began the production of wines on one of his father’s old farms on the slopes of Mount Etna, at Viagrande. In 1988, Dr. Giuseppe Benanti (grandson!) revived the family's old passion, with an extensive and selective study of the Etnean soils highly devoted to viticulture. He also investigated particular clones of indigenous vines and new oenological techniques to reproduce ancient fragrances using the most modern practices of vinification; history, tradition and modernity working together. These wines are now recognised throughout Italy for their supreme quality, winning friends, accolades and awards in equal measure – these are some of the most exciting wines we’ve tasted from Sicily in a long time and whole-heartedly recommend them.

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