David’s Wine of the Week: 2007 Rovitello, Etna Rosso, Benanti

David’s Wine of the Week: 2007 Rovitello, Etna Rosso, Benanti David Rosengarten

2007 Rovitello, Etna Rosso, Benanti ($45)

I’ve been in Sicily this week, searching for new wine discoveries to import. As I knew before visiting, on three sides of Mount Etna—which erupted while I was there!!—there is great red wine being made from the Nerello Mascalese grape, often softened with a little Nerello Cappuccio. The hard part for me was finding things not exported already to the U.S., because Etna Rosso has become as hot as the volcano itself. Great news: I found ’em! But you won’t have to wait months for my new imports. One of Etna’s most important wineries is Benanti…and it’s already being imported. Etna Rosso is so exciting because sometimes it has a Pinot-Noir-like quality, and sometimes a Nebbiolo-like quality. What great role models! This 2007, from Benanti’s vineyards on the north side of the volcano—where leaner Nerello Mascalese is grown—is a medium-garnet in the glass, with the slight onion-skin-rim that you’d expect at seven years old. Lots of age in the nose: mushroomy, a little cheesy, a little vegetal, the remaining fruit reading as rhubarb. This is a dry, elegant, nobly old-fashioned Italian wine.


Supple and pretty on the palate, this is a great wine for all kinds of red-meat dishes…unless they’re sweet!

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