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TENUTA TASCANTE

SICILY

TENUTA TASCANTE

SICILY



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Sicily’s star is ascendant in the wine community, and it seems that when anyone looks at Sicily these days, their eyes are immediately drawn to the island’s most prominent topographic feature, the great volcano Mount Etna. Etna wines are almost as hot as the lava inside that peak, metaphorically speaking. Sicily has been well known as a major source of Italian wine forever, but until relatively recently it was viewed as a producer of bulk wines for export or cheap everyday wines. With the revolution in quality that has taken place on the island in the past decade, though, that reputation has been turned on its head, and Sicilian wines are being sought out by wine buyers and consumers—none more so than the wines of Etna. 

Tasca d’Almerita, one of Sicily’s preeminent wine enterprises, is a leading producer of Etna wines at its Tenuta Tascante estate (the name created by combining Tasca with Etna spelled backwards). The Tasca family, currently headed by Count Lucio Tasca and his sons Giuseppe and Alberto, entered the Etna denomination in 2007 with the purchase of two vineyards in the communes of Castiglione di Sicilia and Randazzo on the north face of the volcano. The northern exposure is a cool-climate area, due to the combination of elevation and less direct sun, which helps to retain acidity in the wines. 

The Tasca family currently owns four parcels, located in the contrade of Pianodario and Sciaranova in Randazzo, and Rampante and Grasà in Castiglione. (A contrada is a small subdivision of a commune, based on various defining criteria such as elevation, cultural/historical significance, or past lava flows.) The vineyards are mostly at elevations of 2,450 to 2,600 feet (750–800 meters) on the 11,000-foot mountain. All are certified as sustainable under SOStain, a Sicilian-based program that rates wineries and vineyards based on their impact on the environment, in conjunction with the Italian Ministry of the Environment’s VIVA indicators of sustainability.

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WINERY PRESENTATION



WINERY LOCATION: Castiglione di Sicilia (Catania province), Sicily
WINE REGIONS: Etna DOC, Sicilia DOC
VINEYARD LAND: 35 acres (14 ha)
FARMING PRACTICES: Organic
GRAPE VARIETIES: Nerello Mascalese; smaller amounts of Nerello Capuccio, Carricante, and Chardonnay
WINE STYLES: Dry white; dry red
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 81,000 bottles (61,000 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 2007
OWNER: The Tasca Family
WINEMAKERS: Stefano Masciarelli

WINES

TENUTA TASCANTE “BUONORA” ETNA DOC

Buonora is Tenuta Tascante’s white wine from Mount Etna’s indigenous Carricante grape variety. Historically prized for its high acidity and abundant productivity, Carricante is a multi-facited grape that ripens late and gains complexity with ageing.  Grapes for the Tenuta Tascanate Buonora are sourced from cool-climate vineyards on the north and east faces of the volcano’s slopes.

TENUTA TASCANTE “GHIAIA NERA” ETNA DOC

Ghiaia Nera is Tenuta Tascante’s demonstration of the possibilities for Nerello Mascalese from young vineyards. It shows similar qualities to the old-vine Il Tascante, but with softer tannins and a distinctive freshness. This is enhanced by a lighter touch with oak aging. The name means "black gravel,"  which describes the volcanic soil of the vineyard.

TENUTA TASCANTE “IL TASCANTE” SICILIA DOC

Sicily’s most exciting vineyards—for both wine and geological drama—are located on Mount Etna, one of the world’s most famous volcanoes. Il Tascante is made from the indigenous Nerello Mascalese, cultivated in old vineyards in two contrade (crus), Sciaranuova and Pianodario, on the northeast side of the mountain. The name is a combination of the parent winery Tasca and Etna spelled backwards.

TENUTA TASCANTE CONTRADA PIANODARIO ETNA DOC

Mt Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, is situated on the eastern side of Sicily and is home of some of Italy's most dramatic wine landscapes. The Etna DOC is divided into 132 Contrade, or wine districts, that are distinguished by different volcanic soil formations. Contrada Pianodario is located at 2,400 feet above sea level between the town of Randazzo and Montelaguardia. The nine acres of vineyards are characterized by terraces of dry stone walls with an average slope of 7% and the volcanic soil formations in the vineyards date from 4,000 to 30,000 years ago.  Tenuta Tascante Contrada Pianodario is 100% Nerello Mascalese aged one year in large Slavonian oak cask of 25 hl.

TENUTA TASCANTE CONTRADA RAMPANTE ETNA DOC

Mt Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, is situated on the eastern side of Sicily and is home of some of Italy's most dramatic wine landscapes. The Etna DOC is divided into 132 Contrade, or wine districts.  Each Contrada is characterized by its soil components and the age of the lava formations in the vineyards. Tasca works in four Contrade located on the northern side of Mt. Etna. Contrada Rampante is located between Passopisciaro and Randazzo and is an 11 acre vineyard that has large dry-stone wall terraces at an average slope of 4.7% with volcanic formations that date from 4,000 - 15,000 years ago. Contrada Rampante is 100% Nerello Mascalese aged 12 months in 25 hl Slavonia oak casks.

TENUTA TASCANTE CONTRADA SCIARANUOVA ETNA DOC

Mt Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, is situated on the eastern side of Sicily and is home of some of Italy's most dramatic wine landscapes. The Etna DOC is divided into 132 Contrade, or wine districts, that are distinguished by different volcanic soil formations. The Tasca family works in four Contrade all located on the north side of Mt. Etna. Contrada Sciaranuova is located between Montelaguardia and Passopisciaro and is home to 12 acres of vineyards, planted in 2008, and more than 17 acres of chestnut groves. It is marked by its steep grade of 8.5% with volcanic formations with origins between 4,000 and 40,000 years ago. Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova is 100% Nerello Mascalese fermented in stainless steel and aged partly in large Slavonian oak cask and part in French oak barrique.

TENUTA TASCANTE CONTRADA SCIARANUOVA VIGNA VECCHIA ETNA DOC

Mt Etna, Europe's largest active volcano, is situated on the eastern side of Sicily and is home of some of Italy's most dramatic wine landscapes. The Etna DOC is divided into 132 Contrade, or wine districts, that are distinguished by different volcanic soil formations.  Contrada Sciaranuova is located between Montelaguardia and Passopisciaro.  With an area of 35 acres total and 12 acres of vineyards, the volcanic soil formations found in Sciaranuova date back 40,000 years. Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova Vigna Vecchia (old vine) is produced from the portion of the vineyards that were planted in 1960. Made from 100% Nerello Mascalese, the wine is aged for one year in large Slavonian oak cask and smaller French oak tonneaux.

LOCATION


WINERY:
Castiglione di Sicilia (Catania province), Sicily

VINEYARD:
Mount Etna, Sicily

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NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE INDUSTRY



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93
AUGUST 2019
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Rampante Etna DOC 2016

"Good medium red-ruby. Pure, deep aromas of cherry and spices on the youthfully reticent nose. In typical Rampante cru style, this is very big and rich in extract, but with harmonious acidity framing and intensifying the red fruit, herb, tobacco and spice flavors. Boasts impressive depth but will need time in bottle to display all of its considerable potential. Finishes chewy and very long, this is the largest-scaled of Tasca's Etna Rosso cru wines in 2016. Forget about this in your cellar for another four years at least."

91
AUGUST 2019
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova Etna DOC 2016

"Good full red. Deep musky, ripe red cherry and strawberry aromas are characterized by a mineral undertone. Then also mineral on entry, but turns just slightly tough in the middle and on the long back end that features similar flavors to the aromas. There’s good sweetness here, and the stony nuances add further lightness of being to what is essentially a medium-bodied, easygoing red wine."

94
OCTOBER 2019
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova Etna DOC 2016

The 2016 Etna Rosso Contrada Sciaranuova is made with fruit from vines planted in 2008 at 730 meters above sea level. This is a classic expression from Etna with an even dose of wild berry, rose, mineral and spice. This wine shows an attractive level of balance and harmony, and I am especially attracted to those distinctive volcanic or mineral tones that frame this delicate, almost fragile wine. This Etna Rosso is mostly aged in large Slavonian oak casks, but a small part goes into 300-liter tonneaux. This adds a bit more volume and girth to the finish. Production is 5,000 bottles.

93
AUGUST 2019
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova Vigna Vecchia Etna DOC 2016

"Moderately saturated ruby-red. Very pure aromas and flavors of blood orange, potpourri, red cherry nectar, minerals and sweet spices. Very light on its feet and extremely suave, with outstanding acid-sugar-tannin balance, this is actually less weighty on the palate than the regular Sciaranuova bottling. The finish is very long and pure."

95
OCTOBER 2019
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova Vigna Vecchia Etna DOC 2016

This wine is made from Tascante's oldest vines, planted in 1961. The 2016 Etna Rosso Contrada Sciaranuova V.V. (the initials stand for Vigna Vecchia or "old vines") is a beautifully polished and glossy expression with a fine and smooth aromatic presentation. It starts off with primary notes of forest berry and cassis and spans all the way over to campfire ash and camphor. That range is as beautiful as it is impressive. The mouthfeel is silky and soft with fine, powdery tannins. Put this delicate wine aside for a few more years. Some 5,000 bottles were produced.

94
OCTOBER 2019
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Rampante Etna DOC 2016

Made with vines planted at the dawn of the new millennium, the 2016 Etna Rosso Contrada Rampante comes from one of the best-performing parcels on the northern side of the volcano, where the topsoil (consisting of eroded volcanic stone and compacted ash) is a bit thicker and deeper compared to most other sites on the volcano. This allows for deep root systems and well-draining moisture. This wine shows a dark and compact nature with ripe fruit, dried blackberry, aniseed and camphor. Like the other wines in this series, this expression ages in 25-hectoliter Slavonian oak casks for 12 months. Some 5,000 bottles were made.

91
OCTOBER 2019
Tenuta Tascante “Ghiaia Nera” Etna DOC 2017

The most accessible of these red wines from Tasca's Etna Tascante project is the 2017 Etna Rosso Ghiaia Nera. A pure expression of Nerello Mascalese, the wine sees fruit sourced from various sites, including young vines planted on the northeast flank of the volcano in the Contrada Piano Dario. This vineyard consists of 98 terraces with vines surrounded by chestnut trees and forest bramble. This bright, mid-weight wine is redolent of wild cherry, blue flower and volcanic ash. This is a versatile, easy-drinking and food-friendly interpretation from Etna. An ample 50,000 bottles are made, and this wine awards you one of the best values you'll find in Sicily.

93
OCTOBER 2019
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Pianodario Etna DOC 2016

One of three new single-vineyard wines introduced by Tasca's Tascante, the 2016 Etna Rosso Contrada Pianodario comes from the western-most parcel located between Montelaguardia and Randazzo. These are relatively new vines, planted in 2010, in soils representing various lava flows, the oldest in 1646 and the newest in 1981. This is a bright and accessible wine with pretty tones of wild berry and dried pomegranate followed by candied orange and pressed violets. It will no doubt be exciting to follow this wine as those vines get, proverbially speaking, older and wiser. Some 5,000 bottles were made.