Etna Bianco Superiore
Since the very beginning in 1988, Giuseppe Benanti has aspired to demonstrate the high potential of Carricante grown in Milo. And indeed, this wine, whose name recalls volcanic landscapes, flintstones, minerals and saline sea breezes, is now unanimously considered one of the most typical, elegant and age-worthy whites in Italy.
Etna D.O.C. Bianco Superiore, which accounts for less than 1% of the aggregate Etna D.O.C. production.
On the mountain.
Vineyard located in Contrada Rinazzo, on the Eastern slope of Mount Etna, within the municipality of Milo (CT), an area particularly suited in terms of elevation, abundant luminosity, influence of the sea and constant ventilation.
In the vineyard.
Carricante 100%, Etna’s noble indigenous white grape variety. The berry is medium-sized with very pruinose skin that is greenish-yellow in color. The bunches are of average length and scattered. The vineyard faces east, towards the Ionian sea, at an elevation of c. 800 m a.s.l. (c. 2,600 ft a.s.l.) and is planted on small lava-stone-walled terraces of sandy volcanic soil, rich in minerals, with sub-acid reaction. The vines are head-trained, short-pruned bushes (“alberello”), reaching over 90 years of age in some cases. Planting density is 8,000 to 9,000 vinestocks per hectare, with a yield of c. 5,500 kg/ha. The area’s specific mountain climate is humid, rainy and often snowy in the colder months, with very significant ventilation, luminosity and diurnal range.
In the cellar.
The selected grapes are harvested by hand after mid-October, de-stemmed and softly pressed. Fermentation takes place for about 12 days at a controlled temperature in a stainless steel vat, with the aid of Benanti’s own Carricante-specific indigenous yeast, which was selected from local vineyards through years of research and experimentation in the cellar. The wine matures in a stainless steel vat on the fine lees for about 24 months, with frequent bâtonnages, and then refines in the bottle for 12 months.
In the glass.
The color is pale yellow with greenish nuances. The nose is intense, rich, complex, ample and mildly fruity, with notes of orange blossom flowers and ripe apple. The palate is dry and mineral, with a pleasantly high acidity, saline notes, a marked aromatic persistence and an after taste reminiscent of anise and almond.
Serving temperature: 10 – 12°C
At the table.
Excellent with fish and seafood, including elaborate recipes.