Benanti

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Country of Origin: Italy
Location: Viagrande, Mt. Etna
People: Giuseppe with sons Antonio & Salvino Benanti, Owners | Enzo Calì, Winemaker
Viticulture: Practicing Organic

Items

Benanti 2018 'Noblesse' Brut Carricante Metodo Classico, Terre Siciliane IGT Login In Stock
Benanti 2018 Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Bianco DOC Login AG 90 WA 92 In Stock
Benanti 2019 Contrada Rinazzo, Etna Bianco Superiore DOC Login AG 93 In Stock
Benanti 2020 Etna Bianco DOC Login In Stock
Benanti 2020 Etna Rosato DOC Login AG 91 In Stock
Benanti 2018 Nerello Cappuccio, Terre Siciliane IGT Login AG 89 In Stock
Benanti 2018 Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Rosso DOC Login AG 90 In Stock
Benanti 2018 Contrada Dafara Galluzzo, Etna Rosso DOC Login AG 92 In Stock
Benanti 2018 Contrada Monte Serra, Etna Rosso DOC Login AG 89 WA 91 JS 97 In Stock
Benanti 2019 Etna Rosso DOC Login In Stock



Media Links
The New York Times: From Etna and the Salty Sea, a White of Great Potential
Wine Enthusiast: Red-Hot Sicily's Top Wine Regions
I'll Drink to That!: Episode 318: Salvino Benanti
Vinography: Benanti Winery
The New York Times: Spring in a Bottle - 20 Great Wines for $20
Chicago Tribune: Nero d'Avola is king in Sicily, but another red grape turning heads

Social Media Links
Instagram: @benantiwinery, @salvinobenanti, @antonio.benanti
Twitter: @BenantiWines
Benanti Winery Facebook


When Dr. Giuseppe Benanti started making wine from his family’s winery and estate vineyards in the late 1980s, there were less than 10 producers in Etna. Dr. Benanti’s goal was to resurrect the winemaking customs of his family from the late 1800s, producing wine primarily from the native varieties on Mt. Etna. His early work in the DOC helped bring attention to the amazing terroirs of Mt. Etna. The Etna DOC is a semicircle to the north, east and south around the active volcano. The Benanti estate is located in the southern part of the Etna DOC in Viagrande. They produce wine from their estate vineyards as well as work closely with growers in the north and east on Mt. Etna. Today, Giuseppe’s sons Antonio and Salvino are enthusiastically committed to keeping the Benanti classic and elegant Etna wines at the forefront of the appellation.

Vinous 8/2019
"Ever since they took the helm of the winery in 2012, with many new labels launched and new vineyard acquisitions and sales, siblings Salvino and Antonio Benanti have been leading the estate into a new dimension, one that they like to characterize as an “evolution of continuity,” assisted by historical collaborators such as their in-house winemaker Enzo Calì (full-time at Benanti since 2004) and their commercial director Agatino Failla (with them since 2011). The recent new bottlings continue in the same vein as what has been done at the estate since its beginning back in 1990, when they started bottling wines clearly linked to a specific terroir; for example, the Rovittello Etna Rosso from the volcano’s northern slope in the commune of Castiglione di Sicilia, and even the Nerello Cappuccio monovariety bottling, made with grapes picked on Etna’s southwestern flank in the territory of Santa Maria di Licodia. The Benantis are now aiming to produce as many as six different contrada wines. In 2019, they launched two more, the Etna Bianco Contrada Cavaliere and the Etna Rosso Contrada Cavaliere, after the Etna Rosso Contrada Monte Serra 2016 was released in 2018."


Vinous 12/2016
"Benanti is a historic name in not only Sicilian but also Italian wine circles. If today we can speak of Etna Rosso wines and their truly amazing quality level and site-specificity, it is thanks to the Benanti family (and their previous winemaker, the ultra-talented Salvo Foti), who were the first to believe and insist upon Etna’s native grapes, at a time when everyone in Sicily was rushing to plant Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Credit must go to Benanti for having created the I Monovitigni series of wines, which showcased to great effect the characteristics and high quality of the likes of monovariety Nerello Cappuccio, Nerello Mascalese and even Minnella Bianca at a time when little was known about these cultivars. As if that weren’t enough, their Etna Bianco Superiore Pietramarina is one of Italy’s four or five best white wines."


Vinous 11/2015
"If Nerello Mascalese, Nerello Cappuccio and Carricante have become superstar grape varieties--along with the wines of Etna in general---credit needs to go to the Benanti family and their original winemaker Salvo Foti, who were by far the first to believe in this mountain viticulture. Giuseppe Benanti, now helped by his sons Antonio and Salvino, started the estate back in 1998 but his grandfather, also called Giuseppe, was buying land and making wine from what are now considered grand cru areas of Etna such as Guardiola already back in the late 1800s.

Today Benanti makes what might be Italy’s best white wine, the Etna Bianco Superiore Pietramarina, as well as the best version of mono-variety Nerello Cappuccio, a wine that clearly shows that this variety does not necessarily have to play second fiddle to the more famous Nerello Mascalese. But readers beware: should the variety gain in popularity, this being Italy you’re likely to suddenly see myriad Nerello Cappuccio-labeled wines in the near future, but beware that much of what is believed to be Nerello Cappuccio on the island is actually Sangiovese or Carignan. Benanti also makes wines from the area of Noto (Nero d’Avola) and from Pantelleria (Zibibbo).

Always moving forward, the estate vinifies with natural yeasts selected from their own vineyards, and the estate is looking to plant another six or seven hectares of Carricante. Another sign of sure-fire commitment to Etna is that the Benantis have done away their international grapes, and have sold off some vineyards in the process, which, not surprisingly, were quickly gobbled up by a large, well-known Sicilian estate."

Reviews

  • Benanti 2020 Etna Rosato DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 91 (6/3/2021)

    So pretty and refined, the 2020 Etna Rosato is pink verging on orange in color, with a bouquet that shows young peaches and melon, then peppery florals. It’s silky and enveloping in texture, the ripe orchard fruits complemented by a sweet-and-sour display of citrus and spice. A saturation of residual acids and minerals lingers incredibly long, all under an air of inner rose.
  • Benanti 2018 Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Bianco DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 90 (6/10/2021)

    So pretty and perfumed, the 2018 Etna Bianco Contrada Cavaliere blossoms with notes of apricot and pear, yellow florals and hints of fresh oregano. It’s especially lifted and mineral in style, presenting a crunchy display of tart orchard fruits and inner herbal notes. It finishes clean, resonating on hints of crisp Granny Smith apples and ginger. The 2018 Cavaliere steps lightly, but it makes a lasting impression.
  • Benanti 2019 Contrada Rinazzo, Etna Bianco Superiore DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 93 (6/10/2021)

    Lemon zest joins sour green melon, tropical florals and sweet smoke as the 2019 Etna Bianco Contrada Superiore Rinazzo comes to life in the glass. This is deeply textural with medium-bodied weight, casting notes of papaya, young mango and minerals across a stimulating core of citrus-laced acidity. That said, the 2019 is also youthfully dense, tapering off with persistence but also a structural tension that promises many more good things to come. Like many of the best 2019 Carricante bottlings, the Rinazzo is enjoyable today, but it also has the ability to excel over medium-term cellaring.
  • Benanti 2018 Nerello Cappuccio, Terre Siciliane IGT
    Vinous
    Rating: 89 (6/10/2021)

    The 2018 Nerello Cappuccio releases an intense wave of spicy tart cherries and crushed cranberries with notes of white pepper and hints of animal musk. This is silky-smooth and pliant, showing herbal-tinged woodland berries and black stone mineral notes. The 2018 finishes a bit short yet has a pleasant inner sweetness that lingers. The textbook character of Nerello Cappuccio shines through here.
  • Benanti 2018 Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Rosso DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 90 (6/10/2021)

    The 2018 Etna Rosso Contrada Cavaliere holds nothing back, presenting a seductive bouquet of musky ripe cherries and strawberries, contrasted by hints of animal musk. It’s soft-textured and fleshy in feel, as juicy acids further amplify its display of red berries and spice. Hints of licorice linger along with pretty inner florals, and the Cavaliere cleans up nicely through the lightly structured finale. There’s no need to wait on this fresh and fruit-focused Nerello Mascalese.
  • Benanti 2018 Contrada Dafara Galluzzo, Etna Rosso DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 92 (6/10/2021)

    The 2018 Etna Rosso Contrada Dafara Galluzzo is distinctly savory, notes of smoked meat and crushed ashen stone giving way to masses of balsam herbs and black raspberry. It’s silky and pliant in feel, displaying depths of mineral-tinged blackberries, savory spice and fine tannins mounting toward the close. This becomes almost salty through the youthfully chewy finale, leaving a sense of umami and gobs of black fruit to linger. The Dafara Galluzzo will require a few years of cellaring to soften.
  • Benanti 2018 Contrada Monte Serra, Etna Rosso DOC
    Vinous
    Rating: 89 (6/10/2021)

    The 2018 Etna Rosso Contrada Monte Serra takes some time to blow off an initial whiff of crushed stone and earth notes. Swirling brings forward woodland berries, hints of rose and wild herbs. This is soft-textured, savory and focused on purity, with a light-bodied frame and a lifted feel to its mineral-tinged red fruits. It finishes a bit short and lightly structured, with a hint of pomegranate lingering. Short-term cellaring may reveal further depths.
  • Benanti 2018 Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Bianco DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 92 (10/29/2021)

    This is the second edition of this exciting new white from the great Sicilian volcano. The Benanti 2018 Etna Bianco Contrada Cavaliere (with 5,300 bottles released) shows an open-knit personality with peach, preserved lemon, crushed stone and candied almond. The Contrada Cavaliere is located on the southwest side of Etna in the village of Santa Maria di Licodia, with vines at 950 meters in altitude. This is a fresh, medium-weight white with a nice mix of primary fruit and mineral definition.
  • Benanti 2018 Contrada Monte Serra, Etna Rosso DOC
    The Wine Advocate
    Rating: 91 (10/29/2021)

    A pure expression of Nerello Mascalese, the Benanti 2018 Etna Rosso Contrada Monte Serra is a punchy and fresh red wine with fruit from the village of Viagrande at 450 meters in altitude, considered high elevation anywhere else in Italy except on Etna. The fruit comes from a wide variety of vines, ranging from 13 to 100 years old. Some 6,000 bottles were released, and this wine was first made in 2016. The Monte Serra shows tart and lifted aromas of cassis and wild berry. The fruit is not very intense, but it delivers silky and delicate lines nonetheless.
  • Benanti 2018 Contrada Monte Serra, Etna Rosso DOC
    James Suckling
    Rating: 97 (12/2/2021)

    (Top Wines of Italy 2021) It's time to taste the volcano! Although this is still very young, it has an amazingly refined nose that reminds us of top-class red Burgundy. Quite full-bodied, but super-elegant and transparent, with very fine tannins that build to a stunning crescendo at the mineral finish. Patience will be rewarded! Drinkable now, but best from 2023.