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Benanti Nerello Mascalese 2005

Other Red Blends from Sicily, Italy
  • RP92
13.5% ABV
  • RP92
  • WS90
  • RP93
  • WE90
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2005 Nerello Mascalese Il Monovitigno captures the essence of this great indigenous variety in its striking perfume and deep layers of dark fruit. This fresh, incredibly vivid wine possesses tons of clarity in a layered, pure style of breathtaking beauty.

Ideally the wine needs a few years in the cellar to develop the full range of tertiary aromas and flavors, but it is incredibly beautiful today. The wine should be opened at least 30 minutes prior to serving, as it needs some air to gain focus and blow off some small imperfections.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Nerello Mascalese Il Monovitigno captures the essence of this great indigenous variety in its striking perfume and deep layers of dark fruit. This fresh, incredibly vivid wine possesses tons of clarity in a layered, pure style of breathtaking beauty. Ideally the wine needs a few years in the cellar to develop the full range of tertiary aromas and flavors, but it is incredibly beautiful today. The wine should be opened at least 30 minutes prior to serving, as it needs some air to gain focus and blow off some small imperfections. Still, this is a captivating wine from Benanti. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2017. I can’t think of too many properties in Sicily, or Italy, for that matter, that turn out such a large number of outstanding wines. The family-run Benanti winery is located on the slopes of Mount Etna. These volcanic soils are the source for most of the grapes, although some of the Nero d’Avola comes from Pachino while the Zibibbo is grown on the island of Pantelleria. Readers should do whatever they can to taste these unique wines.
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Benanti

Benanti

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Benanti, Sicily, Italy
At the end of the 1800’s, Giuseppe Benanti, grandfather of Dr. Giuseppe Benanti, began the production of wines on one of his father’s old farms on the slopes of Mount Etna, at Viagrande (Catania). In 1988, Giuseppe Benanti revived the family’s old passion, with an extensive and selective study of the Etnean soils highly devoted to viticulture. He also investigated particular clones of indigenous vines and new oenological techniques to reproduce ancient fragrances using the most modern practices of vinification, in a perfect union of history and reality. From this five year study, wines of unique taste were produced recreating old flavors and keeping them intact over time.

Our wines have a strong personality and carry the culture and passion for wine of the Benanti family, always driven by respect for the places, terroir and old 'palmenti'. This passion, after revealing the marvels of the Etnean territory, has guided them to Pantelleria and then Pachino. Today the company, also run by Giuseppe Benanti’s sons, Antonio and Salvino, is placed in a market range of high quality level products and the request for its wines is strongly increasing. This is mainly due to the quality of its wines, known throughout Italy and abroad, and attested by many awards given annually by the most important national and international competitions.

A large, geographically and climatically diverse island off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. It is also home to red and white table wines that have been steadily increasing in quality and popularity over the past few decades, allowing Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region to shed its former image as merely a supplier of bulk wine. Certainly, plenty of bulk wine is still made here, but those who look beyond that will find plenty of high-quality wines for every-day drinking as well as bottles from boutique producers who espouse thoughtful vineyard practices (the organic wine movement thrives here). Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, there is some variation on the sun-drenched island, particularly at high elevation on the slopes of Mount Etna.

Although Sicily’s comeback began with clever labels and easily recognizable international varieties, its charm lies in its indigenous grapes. Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, responsible for full-bodied, berry fruited wines throughout the island. In Cerasuolo di Vittoria, it is blended with the lighter, more floral Frappato to create an elegantly balanced wine. On the volcanic soils of Mount Etna, many noteworthy wines are being produced in every color—whites from Cataratto and Carricante, and rosés from Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio. All of these wines share a racy streak of minerality and at their best can bear more than a slight resemblance to their respective Burgundies. Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are used to produce generally simple, crisp dry whites. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

WWH118284_2005 Item# 110101