From: Sicily, Italy
Varietals: 80% Nerello Mascalese, 20% Nerello Cappuccio
Tasting Notes: The nose is ethereal and intense, with hints of wild berries, sweet Mediterranean herbs, and dried cherry. The linear palate is dry and mineral with flavors of red cherry, orange peel, and star anise, with a faint air of salinity along with graceful tannins that punctuate the wine’s persistent finish.
Pairing: Nargisse Benkabbou’s recipe for Moroccan Kefta offers the ideal combination of hearty meat with fresh herbs and spices to highlight similar elements in this wine's elegant flavor profile. Or, if you’re looking for a meatless pairing option, Ali Slagle’s recipe for Crispy Gnocchi with Burst Tomatoes and Mozzarella below would be wonderful!!
About. Winemaking in the Benanti family can be traced back to the late 1800s in the Sicilian town of Viagrande, which sits at the base of Mt. Etna. This deep-rooted passion for wine is what led Giuseppe Benanti to establish the namesake winery in 1988. After 25 years at the helm of the winery and greatly contributing to the development and growth of the whole region, Giuseppe passed the torch to his sons in 2012.
Located on Mount Etna, “an island within the island” of Sicily, the Benanti family produces wines using 100% native grapes – Carricante, Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. As the only winery with plantings on every slope of the Etna DOC area, Benanti has vineyards positioned on four different slopes of the Etna volcano: North, East, South-East and South-West. The climatic influence and volcanic soils from each slope combine to create territorial wines with a “sense of place.”
It’s important to note that these wines are known for (and you’ll find out soon enough for yourself) being elegant, balanced, refined, and can most definitely improve with age. As Monica Larner of the Wine Advocate says: “Benanti’s winemaking history is synonymous with Etna winemaking history. In fact, the hard work and excellent wines produced at this historic winery are what catapulted this unknown part of Sicily to the enological forefront, Benanti’s wines are among the best made on the volcano today.”
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