The Benanti family, whose Sicilian roots date back to 1734, were true pioneers of Etna with Giuseppe Benanti being the first to realise the true potential for this unique volcanic region. Etna would not be what it is today, were it not for the visionary work of Giuseppe Benanti. The winery, which was set up in 1988 has, over time, sold off the lesser deemed plots of land and acquired further plots in the most prestigious slopes and Contrada. Now totalling 28 hectares, the winery only produces wines from Nerelo Mascalese, Nerelo Capuccio and Carricante.
Benanti Rovittello Etna Rosso Riserva 2018
Ruby & garnet tones. The nose is fine, ethereal, floral, intense, spicy, delicate with hints of ripe fruits and noble wood. The palate is dry and concentrated with crunchy minerals, elegant, harmonic, with remarkable persistence.
After almost thirty years of experience vinifying the well-known Etna Rosso Rovittello, in 2015 Benanti decided to aim for new heights by focusing exclusively on the small, pre-phylloxera portion of the vineyard, over 100 years old vines, and extending the wine’s vinification, maturation and refining period prio to release to 60 months, thereby creating this new, exclusive Etna Rosso Riserva produced in a very limited quantity. Terraced vineyard located in Contrada Dafara Galluzzo, in the upper area of Rovittello, part of the municipality of Castiglione di Sicilia (CT), on Etna’s Northern slope, at an elevation of 750 m a.s.l. (2,450 ft a.s.l.). Nerello Mascalese (c.90%), Etna’s noble indigenous red variety, and Nerello Cappuccio (c.10%), cultivated on Etna for centuries. The two varieties are co-planted in the same vineyard, with a sandy, volcanic soil, rich in minerals, with sub-acid reaction. The head-trained bush vines (“alberello”) are pre-phylloxera and ungrafted, with a planting density of 9,000 to 10,000 vinestocks per hectare and a yield of 5,500 kg/ha. The area’s mountain climate is humid and rather rainy in the colder season, snowy at times, with good ventilation and very significant diurnal range.
The grapes are hand-harvested and selected in late October. Fermentation takes place in a stainless steel vat at a controlled temperature of 25° C, with a long maceration, with the aid of Benanti’s own indigenous yeast, which was selected from local vineyards through years of research and experimentation in the celllar. Malolactic fermentation takes place in stainless steel, then maturation occurs in large barrels of French oak (15hl) for about 24 months.
Ungrafted century old vines