This is a volcanic wine, an essential introduction to the wines of Mount Etna, a deeply mineral red that is intense and ethereal. Ripe with fruit and generous in length, it is made of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio—these grapes are native to Sicily. For newcomers to the wines of the region, this could be likened to a deep, evocative Pinot Noir, with the element of seductive earthiness so redolent in Sicilian reds.
Giuseppe Benanti commenced his wine adventures 1980s, committing himself to a tireless pursuit of knowledge about Sicilian native varietals, soils and winemaking. His first wine was realised in 1990. The label is a family affair, now under the direction of his sons Antonio and Salvino. Only indigenous grape varieties are grown. In this way, they are singular expressions of Etna.
Lovely bright dark red color. Slightly reticent aromas of red cherry, rosehip, raspberry and minerals. Then lively and balanced, with juicy red berry and sweet spice flavors. Finishes with bright acidity and rising but polished tannins. An outstanding Etna Rosso; not the last word in concentration or complexity but grows on you on the finish. A blend of Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio that clocks in at a well balanced 13% alcohol.
91 points, Ian D'Agata, Vinous (September 2017)
The 2015 Etna Rosso is a traditional blend of 80% Nerello Mascalese and 20% Nerello Cappuccio. Thanks to this blend, the color intensity of the wine shows a deeper ruby color. This is a streamlined and elegant wine with wild berry aromas, anise seed, dark mineral and crushed flint. The finish is slightly salty and the tannins are snappy and firm. Fruit is sourced from three sides of the volcano (the northern, southeast and southwest slopes) from parcels that range from 450 to 900 meters above sea level.
89 points, Monica Larner, Vinous (September 2017)
The colour is light red/purple, the bouquet earthy, slightly peppery, very savoury and non-fruity. It's light, lean and slightly bony in the mouth: nervy. Light tannins; very good line, subtlety and restraint. Moderate length. A good pizza wine, from a lighter year. (An 80:20 blend, some second-use barriques used).
88 points, Huon Hooke (March 2018)