Exploring Etna, Sicily: A Spotlight on Benanti

By | 21 February 2024

Website: https://www.benanti.it/en/

One of the key wineries in Etna is Benanti, having had a hand in the modern

renaissance of the region. The winery as we know it today started with Dr

Giuseppe Benanti, a pharmacist who set up his own winery named Tenuta di Castiglione

on the northern slopes of Mount Etna. His choice for winemaker was Salvo Foti.

In 1998, Dr Benanti moved the winery to the southeast of Etna and renamed it

Benanti. Now, the winery is run by his sons Salvino and Antonio. Unique amongst

its peers, this is one of a handful of wineries that operates across all four

subzones of Etna. The wines it produces are classic and refined.

Benanti Etna Bianco 2022 Sicily, Italy
This wine has a stony and

lively character with distinctive mineral notes. There’s some mint and a hint of

spice, all complemented with undertones of cherry and pear. It concludes with a

pleasing citrus finish. A beautifully balanced Etna white that rates 93 out of 100.

Benanti Contrada Rinazzo Etna Bianco Superiore 2021 Sicily, Italy

wine is a single-variety Carricante and is vinified in stainless steel. It’s juicy,

mineral-rich, and fresh, with a stony edge and notes of mint and herbs. The wine is

very linear, with a fresh and fine character. Another strong wine with a rating of 93 out of 100.

Benanti Pietra Marina Etna Bianco Superiore 2019 Sicily, Italy – This white wine is aged 24 months on lees. It is fresh and tight with an enjoyable mineral touch and a rocky accent to its finely spiced fruit. Its profile is linear, waxy and intricate with dainty pear and citrus fruit. An abundance of detail is here. Rated at 94/100.

Benanti Etna Rosato 2022 Sicily, Italy – This Rosato wine is stony, gritty and a bit waxy with some herbal notes. It carries notes of apples, cherries, and plums, showing an excellent balance. Rated 90/100.

Benanti Etna Rosso 2021 Sicily, Italy – Quite light-colored, this carries supple cherries, herbs, and fine spices. It’s mineral-based with appealing strawberry fruit, concluding with some stony savouriness. Given a 93/100 rating.

Benanti Nerello Capuccio Terre Siciliane Rosso 2021 Sicily, Italy – This one is interesting. It’s supple and bright with likable raspberry and cherry fruit, indicating a stony edge and a core of elegant sweet berry fruits. There’s a lot of flavor in this one. Rated at 94/100.

Benanti Contada Dafara Galluzo Etna Rosso 2021 Sicily, Italy
Superb. Elegant red cherries and redcurrants with notes of iodine and crushed rock. Refined but showing firm structure. Such precision here. 96/100

Benanti Contrada Monte Serra Etna Rosso 2021 Sicily, Italy
Floral, elegant and fine, showing sweet cherries, plums and strawberries. Nice concentration and good structure with a delightful mineral core. 95/100

Benanti Contrada Caldera Sottana Etna Rosso 2021 Sicily, Italy
Structured and fine with some fruitiness: strawberry and cherry. But also some serious structure with a touch of sternness. Serious stuff. 95/100

Benanti Serra della Contessa Particella 587 Etna Rosso Riserva 2018 Sicily, Italy
From 100+ year old vines. This spends two years in large barrel and two in stainless steel. Super-elegant but also structured with fine linear red cherry and cranberry fruit, some minerals, and notes of spice and liqourice. 96/100

Benanti Rovitello Particella 341 Etna Rosso Riserva 2018 Sicily, Italy
100+ year old vines. Supple, elegant and structured with wood, wax, leather and iodine as well as red cherry and cranberry fruit. Firm tannins still. A lovely wine. 96/100

UK agent: Woodwinters

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