Your Next Lesson: Etna Bianco

Once again Eric Asimov teaches about Sicilian wines to the American readers of The New York Times. Yesterday it has been published a nice introduction to Carricante and Etna Bianco. Here you can see part of this article:

In the last few years, Sicily and Mount Etna in particular have become well known for their red wines, particularly those made of the nerello mascalese grape, which we drank back in 2016.

This time, we will look at the white wines of Mount Etna, known as Etna Bianco. These wines are made largely, sometimes entirely, of carricante. As with so many Italian grapes, it was little known and little appreciated until the last 10 or 15 years, when winemakers began to show just how good carricante could be.

When grown in the right soils, under proper conditions, carricante makes one of Italy’s most compelling white wines, wholly different from any other. It’s a wine understood not so much for its fruitiness as for its savory elements, which is true of some of the world’s great whites.

It’s hard to find carricante from any other place in the world. The grape is grown elsewhere in Sicily, where it often plays a subordinate role to catarratto. But I’ve never found it to be as interesting as it is when it comes from Etna.

The three bottles I suggest are:

Benanti Etna Bianco 2016 

Graci Etna Bianco 2016

I Vigneri di Salvo Foti Etna Bianco 2016 

As is so often the case, these are small-production wines. If you cannot find them, look for other bottlings from these producers, as well as Etna Biancos from Tenuta delle Terre Nere, Biondi, Russo, Murgo, Planeta, I Custodi (also associated with the producer Salvo Foti), Barone di Villagrande and Pietra Dolce.

If you don’t mind spending a little more, the Arcurìa from Graci is superb, while the Benanti Pietra Marina is one of the best white wines from Italy.

If you want to read the whole article, you can find it here: Your Next Lesson: Etna Bianco


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