Benanti Contrada Cavaliere Etna Bianco 2021 DOC (Sicily, Italy) - [WE 94] [WA 93] [JS 93] [WS 92] [DM 91]
Benanti Contrada Cavaliere Etna Bianco 2021 DOC (Sicily, Italy) - [WE 94] [WA 93] [JS 93] [WS 92] [DM 91]

Benanti Contrada Cavaliere Etna Bianco 2021 DOC
(Sicily, Italy) - [WE 94] [WA 93] [JS 93] [WS 92] [DM 91]

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WE94 WA93 JS93 WS92 DM91
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About 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: The south-western slope of Mount Etna in Contrada Cavaliere (part of the village of Santa Maria di Licodia), is particularly suited for its high elevation and abundant luminosity.

Tasting Notes:
Pale yellow with greenish tints. Intense, rich, delicate, fruity scent with hints of orange blossom and ripe apple. Dry, mineral, harmonious with pleasant acidity, aromatic persistence, and aftertaste of anise and almond.

Vineyard Profile

Appellation: Etna D.O.C. Bianco
Location: Sicily
Cultivation: Sustainable
Vine Age: 50 years old
Soil: Volcanic sands, rich in minerals, with sub-acid reaction
Exposure: Southwest exposure
Density: 6,500 vinestocks per hectare
Vintage: 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 after mid-October and softly pressed. Fermentation occurs for about 12 days at a controlled temperature in stainless steel vats, using a specific indigenous yeast seleted in the vineyard by Benanti. The wine matures in stainless steel tanks on the fine lees for about 12 months, with frequent stirrings.
Aging: Stainless steel tanks on the fine lees for 12 months, until bottling. In the bottle for 6 months
Varietal Composition: Carricante
Alcohol: 12.5%

Ratings & Reviews:

94 Points - Wine Enthusiast:
"The nose balances fragrant tulips and white blossoms with savory notes of grass and stone, above undertones of bitter citrus and herbs. On the refreshing yet full palate, the citrus sweetens into lemonade iced tea, with the herbaceousness lingering through the finish." - Danielle Callegari (December 2023)

93 Points - Wine Advocate:
"The Benanti 2021 Etna Bianco Contrada Cavaliere shows a layer of citrus at first, then bitter almond and unripe peach. The bouquet is mostly neutral in character at this young stage with a subtle, slow-moving evolution in the glass. It shows a luminous golden color with greenish highlights. The finish is very clean, ending with a pronounced mineral character. The Contrada Cavaliere is found on the southwest side of the volcano in Santa Maria di Licodia at 950 meters in elevation. You should count on some pretty aromatic evolution with this bottle in the next years to come." Drink 2023-2030. - Monica Larner (June 2023)

93 Points - James Suckling:
"Aromas of sliced apples, savory herbs, green olives and white pepper. Some stony minerality, too. Medium-bodied, layered and round-textured with vivid acidity. It is tense and persisting with a mineral nature and attractive spicy, green-herb savory undertones. Lengthy and textural. Drink or hold." (September 2023)

92 Points - Wine Spectator: 
"A clean-cut, salty white, this is creamy on the palate, offering a sleek mesh of green melon, grapefruit peel, beeswax and eucalyptus notes that linger on the mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2029. 675 cases made, 230 cases imported." - Alison Napjus (February 2024)

91 Points - Decanter Magazine:
"Contrada Cavaliere on Etna's southwest slope is situated at around 950 metres above sea level. Benanti's unoaked white from here is lemony and floral, light and stony, with a fresh, peachy mid-palate and a bright finish." Drink 2023-2027. - James Button (May 2023)