From: Sicily, Italy
Taste: On visual inspection, the wine presents a pale yellow hue with bright greenish tints, housing numerous, fine, and persistent bubbles. The nose offers an intense and delicate blend of orange and lemon flower, perfectly juxtaposed with the scent of ripe apple. On the palate, the wine is dry, elegant with a pleasing acidity and persistent aromatic notes. Wine critic Eric Guido lauds the 2018 vintage, describing it as "smoky yet perfumed, with dusty dried flowers giving way to crushed green apple and hints of ground ginger." His review further underscores the wine's elegant palate and savory finish, earning it a well-deserved score of 92 points on Vinous.
Pairing: With its delicate complexity and elegant profile, the NV Benanti Noblesse Brut Carricante proves an ideal companion for light-to medium-bodied meals. The wine's nuanced acidity and persistence makes it particularly suitable for pairing with delicate fried fish and seafood recipes. Pastas like the classic Pasta alla Norma, farfalle with artichokes, pasta with sardines and fennel and rigatoni and cauliflower al forno work fantastically with this lovely bubbly too. We’re leaning into those light-to medium-bodied meals with our recipe pairing today below!
Sicilian Stuffed Pizza With Ricotta and Arugula
By David Tanis
About. Sicily, the stunning Mediterranean island that boasts of a rich winemaking history, produces an array of remarkable wines that embody the region's distinct character and biodiversity. One Sicilian winery is mastering the art of producing a sparkling variant of one of Sicily's indigenous grape varietals - Carricante. This journey leads us to the esteemed Benanti winery and its stellar NV Benanti Noblesse Brut Carricante Metodo Classico from the Terre Siciliane region.
A Legacy in Wine: The Benanti Story
Winemaking has been etched in the Benanti family’s history since the late 19th century, originating in Viagrande. The family's enduring fascination for viticulture inspired Giuseppe Benanti to create the Benanti winery in 1988. Giuseppe's dedication to winemaking significantly contributed to the growth of the Sicilian wine industry. After a quarter of a century of leadership, he passed the legacy onto his sons in 2012.
Benanti winery, nestled on the slopes of Mount Etna - aptly known as "an island within the island" of Sicily, is dedicated to the production of wines using native Sicilian grape varietals - Carricante, Nerello Mascalese, and Nerello Cappuccio. The winery's unique vineyards extend across four slopes of the Etna volcano: North, East, South-East, and South-West. Each slope's climatic conditions and volcanic soils intermingle to give birth to wines that truly reflect their terroir. Interestingly, Benanti stands alone as the only winery possessing vineyards on every slope of the Etna DOC area.
The Sparkling Jewel of Sicily: NV Benanti Noblesse Brut Carricante
Born from vineyards situated on Mount Etna's southern slopes, the NV Benanti Noblesse Brut Carricante capitalizes on the high altitude and luminosity-rich terroir. The selection of grapes originates from the Terre Siciliane IGT Carricante Spumante appellation, hailing from vineyards with altitudes varying from 700 to 850 meters above sea level.
The vineyards enjoy a mountain climate characterized by humid, rainy, and sometimes snowy winters, further enhanced by high ventilation, luminosity, and significant diurnal temperature variations. The vineyards' soil is a testament to Mount Etna's volcanic activity, rich in minerals with a sub-acid reaction. Vines aged between 20 to 60 years are trained as bushes or trellised, boasting a density of 6,000 to 7,000 vinestocks per hectare.
The production process of this Carricante-based wine involves careful handpicking and soft pressing of the grapes, retaining the stems. Fermentation occurs in steel tanks at a controlled temperature of 16-18°C, after which the wine matures on its lees until late spring. The bottling process includes the addition of selected yeasts to trigger the second fermentation. Following 24 months of disgorgement and dosage, the wine rests for an additional three months, culminating in a six-month resting period in the bottle.
A Symphony of Flavors: Tasting the NV Benanti Noblesse Brut Carricante
The NV Benanti Noblesse Brut Carricante is a unique sparkling wine, crafted from Carricante, the noble indigenous white grape of the Etna volcano. This wine stands as the first and still extremely rare sparkling variant of Carricante, boasting medium-sized berries with pruinose skin and a green-yellowish hue. The bunches are of average length and scattered, contributing to the wine's distinctive profile.
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