From: Sicily, Italy
Varietal: Nerello Cappuccio
Nerello Cappuccio is a red grape variety that has been cultivated on Mount Etna for centuries. Though its origin is unknown, it is considered to be indigenous to the volcano. The grapes used for this wine were grown in Contrada Cavaliere, on the southwestern slope of Mount Etna, within the municipality of Santa Maria di Licodia. This area is known for its high elevation (900 m / 2,950 ft), low rainfall rate, warmer climate not tempered by sea breezes, and significant temperature changes between day and night. The vines here are up to 30 years old.
The grapes are hand-harvested in October and de-stemmed in the cellar. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel vats at controlled temperature, with a two weeks long maceration, using an indigenous yeast specifically selected in the vineyard by Benanti after years of direct experimentation. The wine matures exclusively in stainless steel for about 12 months and ages in the bottle for about 6 months.
Tasting Notes: The wine is deep ruby with distinct violet nuances. Fine aromas of spices, herbs, smoke, and delicate red fruit are met with a complimentary palate that is dry and medium-bodied with satin tannins, pleasant acidity, and lingering, harmonious flavors of red fruit on the finish.
This 100% Nerello Cappuccio, a grape usually used to blend with Nerello Mascalese, shows the juicy fruit allure of the variety. It opens with aromas of black skinned berries, dark spice, Mediterranean scrub and blue flowers while the soft, rounded palate doles out fleshy Morello cherry, white pepper and just a hint of tobacco. A salty note backs up the close, and lithe tannins provide seamless support. Drink through 2024." –Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 90 points
Pairing: A very versatile wine that can be paired with red meats, mature cheeses, and elaborate meals based on fish or white meats.
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