Recent tastings

Visit to Sicily September 2013

Derek - Thu, October 03, 2013

Cantina Benanti


White Wines

Pietramarina Etna Bianco Superiore 2009 95 2013-19

Carricante 100%

There is a lot of citrus on the nose slightly herbal green leaf fragrant with a crisp start to the palate. The mid palate has depth of flavour with rich greengage yet there is an underlying freshness with lots of minerals a racy fresh persistent finish.

Pietramarina Etna Bianco Superiore 2007 95 2013-19

Carricante 100%

Tropical fruits give richness on the nose and the palate has white peach richness. Under these fuller flavours there is citrus freshness leaner towards the back with minerals and shale yet the finish has nice depth slightly sweeter fruit.

Red Wines

Monovitigno Nerello Cappuccio 2006 94 2013-22

The nose has a nutty fragrant red fruited charm and the start of the palate is the same fragrant and red fruited. The mid palate is rich ripe lots of fleshy red plums ripe tannins rich and supple yet towards the back there is enough red cherry freshness to balance. The finish has lovely rich flavours and depth.

Monovitigno Nerello Mascalese 2007 94 2013-24

The nose is firmer with more of a black fruited influence and the start of the palate is firm with structured tannins. It fills out in the middle rich ripe sweet fruit and although the tannins show they feel ripe with fleshy sweetness underneath.

Rovittello Etna Rosso 2007 95 2013-24

Nerello Mascalese 80% Nerello Cappuccio 20%

The black cherry richness is backed by bilberry and bramble freshness. The palate has brooding depth rich flavours ripe tannins fleshy in the middle with firmness at the back. The layers of flavour give lots of complexity.

Serra della Contessa Etna Rosso 2003 96 2013-20

Nerello Mascalese 80% Nerello Cappuccio 20%

The nose although black fruited has some red cherry freshness with hints of hazel nuts. There is a lot happening on the palate layers of fruit sweet ripe fleshy fruit underpinned by slightly fresher red fruits. The back palate has depth but the finish is lighter fragrant with length of flavour and a leafy nutty elegance.

Lamorèmio 2004 96 2013-18

Nerello Mascalese Cabernet Sauvignon Nero d’Avola

The nose has black fruited power and the start of the palate is very cassis dominated and although the mid palate is structured quite firm at the back there is a fleshy sweetness a hint of chocolate. The finish is bright still with a youthful appeal.

Majora 1998 96 2013-20

Nerello Mascelese Cabernet Sauvignon Nero d’Avola Merlot

Black fruits enrich the nose lots of cassis and black plum and the palate is fleshy supple with a voluptuous richness. The ripe fruit is supported by fine tannins with towards the back freshness bilberry and bramble that give a slightly lighter feel . The finish has power depth richness yet elegance.

Majora 2003 96 2013-19

Nero d’Avola Syrah Tannat Petit Verdot

The nose is full of ripe fruit fleshy and sweet and the palate is lush voluptuous supple the ripe fruit backed by chocolate. Behind the sweet flavours there is freshness a supporting structure but the back palate has all the fleshy richness of the nose with depth of flavour on the finish.

Sparkling White Wines

Noblesse Metodo Classico Brut NV 90

Carricante 90% Other Etna White Grapes 10%

There is a lime and lemon freshness on the nose and the start of the palate and although the mid palate has more depth of flavour towards the back citrus and minerals dominate giving crispness on the finish.

Sweet White Wine

Il Musico Moscato Passito Sicilia 2009 91 2013-18

Moscato di Noto 100%

There is an oriental spiciness about the nose and a floral fragrance on the start of the palate. The mid palate is sweet quite rich but the lush fruit is underpinned by freshness that lightens balances and brings out a perfumed spiciness on the finish.


Buonivini Winery Noto

White Wines

Alastro 2012 92 2013-16

Grecanico 95% Fiano 5%

Sambuca di Sicilia & Menfi

The nose has a white peach and apricot richness and the palate has a nice depth of flavour lots of pineapple and ripe melon. Towards the back it feels lighter with fresh fruit a lovely fragrant character flavours that linger on the finish.

Eruzione 1614 Carricante 2012 94 2013-18

Carricante 95% Riesling 5%

Castiglione di Sicilia


Herbal leafy flavours with fresh lime, white flowers and mint the nose is racy and fresh fruited. There is depth on the palate hints of greengage with the richness the sweeter fruit underpinned by citrus freshness mineral and flint raciness.

Chardonnay 2011 94 2013-19

Sambuca di Sicilia

It is rich intense with depth of fruit ripe melon white peach a hint of vanilla. The mid freshness the crisp apple balances and gives a lighter feel towards the back bringing out citrus flowers on the long finish.

Cometa 2011 92 2013-17

Fiano 100%


The nose has intensity of flavour yet an aromatic feel with a mix of fruits nectarines and pineapple. The richness on the mid palate gives way to freshness at the back hints of citrus yet the finish is broad and rich fruited.

Red Wines

Dorilli Cerasuolo di Vittoria 2011 92 2013-19

Nero d’Avola 60% Frappato 40%


There is an intensity of flavour with red cherry, wild strawberry and a hint of bilberry. Under the freshness there is a richer sweeter feel enriching the mid palate the ripe flavours giving a velvety smoothness at the back.

Dorilli Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2011 92 2013-19

Nero d’Avola 70% Frappato 30%


Ripe fruit gives a fleshy richness on the nose lots of strawberries and red plums. The ripeness of the fruit fills out the mid palate supple rounded tannins. Behind the richness the flesh there is bitter cherry freshness that gives brightness on the back palate but the finish has depth and richness.

Santa Cecilia 2008 93 2013-20

Nero d’Avola 100%


There is a mix of flavours on the nose the rich black plum backed by fresher bramble and bilberry just a hint of bitter cherry. The palate has depth richness of fruit fleshy sweet black fruits and chocolate with the finish lush and ripe fruited.

Burdese 2007 95 2013-19

Cabernet Sauvignon 70% Cabernet Franc 30%

Menfi & Sambuca di Sicilia

The nose is rich with concentrated flavours the richness of black cherry underpinned by fresher slightly spicy red cherry. The palate is deep black fruited brooding with cocoa beans, coffee and liquorice. The fine tannins give structure the richness of the fruit filling out the back palate yet the finish is lighter lovely and elegant.

Sweet White Wines

Passito di Noto 2011 92 2013-19

Moscato Bianco 100%


The nose is rich with apricots, candied orange peel and dates and the start of the palate is rich and fleshy packed with lush ripe flavours. There is an underlying freshness hints of lime and grapefruit that balance the sweetness and give a slightly lighter feel on the back palate but the finish is rich ripe fruited with an aromatic spiciness.


Acate Vittoria

White Sparkling Wines

Spumante 2009 90

Frappato made in Amphora

There is a creamy richness on the nose and depth a cherry richness on the start of the palate. Towards the back it is fresher with a touch of bitter cherry with shale and minerals.

White Wines

Ramì 2012 91 2013-16

Grecanico 50% Insolia 50%

Hedgerow flowers give lots of fragrance on the nose and the start of the palate is quite floral. There are richer flavours in the middle a hint of sweetness with citrus and apple freshness at the back.

Pithos Bianco 2012 92 2013-16

Grecanico 100%

Under the peach and apricot richness tangerine and orange refresh yet there is depth of flavour a lot of powerful fruit that enriches and fills out the back palate and finish.

Red Wines

Frappato 2012 93 2013-17

The nose is redcurrant fresh but the palate has the fleshy richness of ripe strawberry. The tannins are fine and rounded the mid palate lovely and supple yet towards the back there is bitter cherry freshness with the finish lighter with a mix of fragrances.

Pithos Rosso 2011 95 2013-24

Cerasuolo di Vittoria in Amphora

Nero d’Avola 60% Frappato 40%

There are rich black fruits on the nose more concentrated flavours a lovely depth on the mid palate. Towards the back the fruits are fresher some bramble a touch of bilberry with bitter cherry on the finish.

Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2010 94 2013-20

Nero d’Avola 60% Frappato 40%

The nose has a lovely mix of red fruits quite fresh with lots of cherry but the palate is sweeter richer with supple tannins rounded and fleshy. The bitter cherry is there at the back refreshing the finish.

Cantine Barbera


White Wines

Dietro Le Case 2012 91 2013-16

Insolia 100%

The nose has a mix of tropical fruits and the start of the palate has rich flavours. Behind the sweetness tangerine and lime refresh and the finish is long with a salty mineral raciness.

Coste Al Vento 2012 91 2013-16

Grillo 100%

Peaches and apricots give richness on the nose and the start of the palate yet the mid palate is fresh with citrus and apple and although towards the back there is a little more weight lime and lemon refresh the finish.

Piana Del Pozzo 2010 92 2013-17

Chardonnay 100%

The nose is rich the palate full of ripe fruit. Fleshy melon and ripe greengage are backed by citrus and the finish has length and a mineral saltiness.

Red Wines

Nero d’Avola 2012 91 2013-18

Black cherry gives richness with red cherry giving freshness and attractive mix of flavours. The mid palate is chocolaty sweet and fleshy with lots of ripe black fruits. There is a fresher feel towards the back but it finishes with black fruited richness.

Micro Cosmo Rosso 2010 94 2013-20

Perricone Nerello Mascalese

The red fruited mix is fresh with a lovely red cherry bitterness. There is a richer feel on the mid palate rounded tannins layers of flavour with towards the back bramble then the freshness of the red cherry on the finish.

Coda Della Foce Riserva 2008 93 2013-18

Nero d’Avola 40% Merlot 20% Petit Verdot 40%

The nose has the richness of ripe fruit and the palate is packed with fleshy black plum. Ripe tannins give suppleness a fleshy richness yet under the sweet fruited power there are fresher fruits that balance. The finish is fresher firmer with nice length.

Azimut 2008 92 2013-18

Merlot 100%

The nose is remarkably fresh and red fruited but the palate has all the fleshy richness of ripe black plum. Ripe tannins add to the suppleness the rich ripe fruit balanced by fresher bramble and black cherry that shows at the back.

Sweet White Wines

Albamarina 2012 91 2013-19

Catarratto Lucido 100%

The nose has greengage richness but behind there is apple freshness. The palate is the same with sweet fruit quite fleshy and rich underpinned by grapefruit a lovely bitter sweet combination.

Marco De Bartoli


Sparkling White Wines

Terzavia NV 91

Grillo 100%

The nose has a peachy richness but the palate is fresh a tangerine character. It has a nice depth of flavour on the mid palate with citrus and mineral refreshing the back. The flavours last well on the finish.

White Wines

Grappoli del Grillo 2011 92 2013-16

Grillo 100%

The nose has a fragrant charm white flowers, lime flowers an appealing freshness. The mid palate is richer hints of tropical fruits with some citrus coming through at the back and the finish is chalky fresh with salty minerals.

Vecchio Samperi 95 2013-30

Grillo 100%

Aged by the Perpetuum method (not unlike a solera) the nose has white flowers lovely and fragrant with richer flavours coming through on the palate. Apricot richness is backed by freshness some lime the finish is nutty hints of almonds layers of flavour lots of complexity. The mix of fruits and nuts lingers on the finish.

Red Wines

Rosso di Marco 2011 93 2013-19

Pignatello 100%

There is depth on the nose rich red fruits and black cherry. The palate has complexity fresh at the start with lots of bramble richer in the middle still black fruited but towards the back a lovely bitter cherry freshness.


Vigna La Micchia Marsala Superiore 94 2013-30

(Matured for at least 5 years)

The nose has a fragrant charm quite light with apricots and almonds. The palate has complexity some rich apricot some tangerine freshness with nuttiness at the back. The mid palate is sweet yet nicely balanced by an underlying freshness.

1987 Marsala Superiore Riserva 96 2013-35

Although it seems quite light on the nose the palate has richness and depth of flavour. Ripe apricot fills out the mid palate given a lighter feel by tangerine freshness. The richness on the back palate gives way to a lighter feel with fragrant flavours the layers of fruit backed by almonds and hazel nuts a lovely complexity on the finish.

Sweet White Wines

Bukkuram 2008 96 2013-24

Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria )100%


Dried fruits, candied orange peel and apricots fill out the nose the fleshy sweet fruit giving a sumptuous luscious richness of the palate. Although lovely and flesy with a mass of sweet fruit there is citric freshness some mineral that balances and lightens yet the finish has the richness of sweet sun dried fruit.



White Wines

Lighea 2012 91 2013-16

Zibibbo 100%

There is an oriental feel to the nose fragrant and perfumed with orange blossom and spices. The palate although fragrant is richer a touch of pineapple some tropical fruits but the back palate and finish have the freshness the eastern perfumes of the nose.

Vigna di Gabbri 2012 92 2013-16

Ansonica Chardonnay Viognier Sauvignon Blanc Catarratto

The nose is rich with peaches and apricots and the palate although quite light at the start fills out with a nice depth of flavour in the middle. Towards the back gooseberry gives crispness a racy freshness with minerals and flint on the finish.

Red Wines

Sherazade 2012 91 2013-17

Nero d’Avola 100%

There is freshness on the nose raspberry backed by bramble but the palate has a richer black fruit influence rounded tannins fleshy supple with chocolate richness. There are fresher fruits towards the back balancing the richness.

Tancredi 2008 93 2013-20

Cabernet Sauvignon Nero d’Avola Tannat & some others

The nose is serious deep black fruited lots of blackcurrant and black cherry. Although the mid palate still has a strong black fruited influence the fruit is fresher more bramble and bilberry in character.

Mille e una Notte 2008 95 2013-22

Nero d’Avola & others

The nose is rich deep black fruited and the palate is supple rich fleshy packed with powerful black fruited flavours. Under the chocolate the cocoa there is freshness that gives a lighter more elegant feel towards the back yet the finish is sweet, rich with lots of powerful flavours.

Sweet White Wines

Ben Ryé 2011 97 2013-24

Zibibbo (Muscat of Alexandria) 100%


There is a perfumed spiciness on the nose oriental with a mix of tangerine and candied orange peel. The palate is lush sumptuous fleshly rich with sweet fruits but under all of this richness there is freshness tangerine and Seville orange. The layers of flavour give lots of complexity with the finish full and rich yet with length and elegance.



White Wines

Grillo 2012 91 2013-16

Floral white flowers the nose has a fragrant appeal. The start of the palate is fresh with a mix of lime and lemon but it fills out in the middle a hint of pear some tropical fruits but the finish has a lovely citrusy mineral freshness.

Piano Maltese 2012 92 2013-17

Grillo Catarratto Chardonnay

Savoury and fresh on the nose behind the tropical fruit there is a hint of almonds. Ripe white peach and melon give a fleshy richness on the palate a lovely broad mid palate and although there is an underlying mineral freshness the finish has depth of flavour.

Casalj Catarratto 2012 93 2013-18

The nose mirrors the surrounding hills fragrant herbal hints of sage and mountain flowers. The start of the palate is mineral flinty racy with grapefruit freshness but it fills out in the middle just a hint of tropical fruits. The finish mirrors the nose fresh long and racy flint and mineral driven.

Chardonnay 2011 Grand Cru 93 2013-18

The fruit on the nose is honeyed rich quite sweet and the palate has depth and richness of flavour. It feels fresher towards the back with citrus and apple lots of aromatic flavours on the back palate with mineral freshness on the finish.

Red Wines

Campo Reale Nero d’Avola 2012 91 2013-18

Red fruits refresh the nose and give a bright start to the palate. There is mid sweetness supple tannins, ripe black fruits dark chocolate and although black fruited at the back the fruit is fresh

Nuhar 2010 92 2013-19

Nero d’Avola Pinot Noir

Black fruits appear to dominate black cherry and fresher bramble. The freshness on the start of the palate is underpinned by sweet fruit rounded tannins a lovely supple richness. Towards the back it is firmer fresher with the layers of flavour giving lots of complexity.

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