TN: 2006 Benanti Etna Serra della Contessa (Italy, Sicily, Etna DOC)

  • 2006 Benanti Etna Serra della Contessa - Italy, Sicily, Etna DOC (9/30/2013)
    Dinner with Monthly Group at ITSPD (Imperial Treasure Super Peking Duck, Paragon): A classic Etna blend of Nerello Mascalese (from vines which are more than 100 years old) and Nerello Cappuccio, this was a really good wine that was enjoyed by everyone on the table - novice and wine-geek alike. It had an attractive nose to start of with, showing black-fruited tones seasoned with spice and herb, dried earth and a little whiff of dried flowers. I always thought there was something Pinot-like about Etna Rosso, and the palate here really lived up to that. A tad disjointed and a bit tart when first poured, all it took was a little time and air to settle down into an elegant expresssion of dark fruit - black cherries I thought - all very bright and fresh, wrapped up as it were in well-integrated acidity and really fine-boned tannins. There was a lovely clarity and transperancy to this that one would normally associate only with Burgundy or certain producers in Piedmont. The midpalate was then met by a gentle wash of warm spice and very pleasant, savoury inflections. Quite delicious. There was still a slight grip at the mid-lengthed finish, which showed just the tiniest hint of bittersweet herb alongside a nicely stony, mineral tail. A very characterful, enjoyable wine. Easy to drink, yet enough to hold the interest. My only criticism would perhaps be the slight lack of complexity and depth at the moment, but I think that will come with time in the cellar. This certainly has the structure to age nicely over the next few years or so. (92 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker

La Serra della Contessa is a very beautiful and elegant wine which, based on what track record is available, seems to age quite well. I’ve had bottles from the late '90-s drinking really well and clearly in no danger of going downhill.

Thanks for the response - I will happily sit on my remaining bottles for some time!

You’re welcome, Paul. No need to worry about holding these, I think. The Serra della Contessa is the most structured wine in Benanti’s stable of Etna Rossos from a very old, high-altitude vineyard. The entry-level Rosso di Verzella is normally also a beautiful wine and drinks well right out of the gate (although it will, generally, easily hold for 10 years, maybe more). The Rovitello bottling, in my experience, really needs some bottle age before it can show its true colours (I would hold for at least 5-7 years after release). That said, a lot depends on your drinking preferences - naturally.