Benanti Etna Rosso Serra della Contessa Proprietary Blend 2011

Benanti Etna Rosso Serra della Contessa Proprietary Blend 2011 #Interim - September 2015
Sep 2015
Monica Larner 93 Drink: 2016 - 2028


The 2011 Etna Rosso Serra della Contessa steals the show among this line-up of new vintages from Benanti. This iconic Etna red doesn't always live up to its landmark reputation, but this vintage is spot-on. The intensity and the clarity of the bouquet is the first thing you notice. It reveals linear and tight aromas of dried cherry, licorice, crushed stone and balsam herb. The wine delivers these characteristics with the upmost grace and elegance. It promises a long cellar evolution ahead. Monte Serre is the name of the vineyard in the Viagrande township.

I was surprised to learn that the Benanti family had sold some of their most important vineyards to Diego and Alberto Cusumano. The Cusumano brothers had been looking for property on Etna for years and snapped up two beautiful parcels totaling 15 hectares before anyone even knew they were for sale. The vineyards are located in the Contrada Pietramarina between Guardiola and Verzella. In others words, this is prime Etna Rosso territory on the coveted north side of the volcano. My hat goes off to the Cusumano duo but I can't but wonder why the Cavaliere del Lavoro Giuseppe Benanti would sell. I can only sympathize with him for what must have been a difficult decision. Benanti's winemaking history is synonymous with Etna winemaking history. In fact, the hard work and excellent wines produced at this historic winery are what catapulted this unknown part of Sicily to the enological forefront some 15 years ago. Benanti's wines are among the best made on the volcano today and I was particularly happy to taste the excellent 2011 Etna Rosso Serra della Contessa.

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