Sicily, Italy

Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Rosso DOC — 2021

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  • Introduction

    • THE WINERY: Winemaking in the Benanti family can be traced back to the late 1800s in Viagrande. This deep-rooted passion for wine is what led Giuseppe Benanti to establish the namesake winery in 1988.

      THE WINE: South-western slope of Mount Etna in Contrada Cavaliere (part of the village of Santa Maria di Licodia), particularly suited for its high elevation and abundant luminosity.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Appellation: Etna D.O.C. Rosso
    • Location: Sicily
    • Cultivation: Sustainable
    • Vine Age: 50 years
    • Soil: Volcanic sands, rich in minerals, with sub-acid reaction
    • Exposure: Southwest exposure
    • Density: 6,500 vinestocks per hectare (2,632 vines per acre)
  • Vintage Report

    • In spring, the rain increased powdery mildew. However, our traditional vineyard cultivation methods kept the bunches intact. The hot and dry summer led to water stress, resulting in the development of sugars and extractive substances in our native vines. The autumn rain did not damage the bunches or their ripening. The precise green pruning and leaf removal kept the bunches healthy without the need for additional treatments. Our 2021 harvest started in September and ended in mid-October. The volcanic activity enriched the soil in Contrada Rinazzo.

  • Vinification

    • Grapes are hand-picked around mid-October and de-stemmed. Fermentation occurs at a controlled temperature in stainless steel vats, with a 21-day long maceration, using a specific indigenous yeast selected in the vineyard by Benanti. The maturation occurs in used tonneaux of French oak for about 12 months and then in stainless steel.

    • Aging: French oak for 12 months, then in stainless steel. In the bottle for 10 months.
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: Nerello Mascalese
    • Alcohol: 14.5%
    • TA: 5.25 g/L
    • p H: 3.55
  • Tasting Notes

    • Pale, ruby color. An ethereal, spicy fragrance with scents of red fruit. Dry, medium-to-full-bodied, distinctively tannic, balanced, and persistent taste.



  • Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Rosso DOC — 2021 – Decanter – 92 Points

    “Dank and earthy at first, with dark fruits and fine tannins, it opens up with some air to reveal intense, bold black cherry, herbs, balsam and spice, balanced by good acidity. This definitely needs time to reveal its secrets.”

  • Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Rosso DOC — 2021 – Vinous – 90 Points

    “Peppery wild berries, dusty rose and shaved cedar waft up from the 2021 Etna Rosso Contrada Cavaliere. It's soft-textured, juicy and almost nervous in character. A sour tinge contrasts mineral-tinged red fruits and spices. The 2021 finishes structured and long, full of youthful tension, as a tart cranberry crunch lingers.”

  • Contrada Cavaliere, Etna Rosso DOC — 2021 – James Suckling – 94 Points

    “Fresh flowers with oranges and black cherries as well as blackberries. Very clear aromas. Subtle and complex. Full-bodied but not heavy with solid and structured tannins. Chewy and muscular but remains rather agile.”