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TENUTA TASCANTE

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TENUTA TASCANTE

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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. 

The Tasca d'Almerita family, one of Sicily's oldest and most esteemed wine families, is now led by seventh generation Alberto Tasca. The family, who has been making wine across Sicily for over 200 years, is a leading producer of Etna wines at its Tenuta Tascante estate (the name is a portmanteau of Tasca and Etna).  The estate was founded 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 the age of 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 LOCATION: Castiglione di Sicilia (Catania province), Sicily
WINE REGIONS: Etna DOC, Sicilia DOC
VINEYARD LAND: 35 acres (14 ha)
FARMING PRACTICES: Sustainable - SOStain Certified
GRAPE VARIETIES: Nerello Mascalese and Carricante with smaller amounts of Nerello Capuccio and Chardonnay
WINE STYLES: Dry white, dry rosé and dry red
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 81,000 bottles (61,000 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 2007
OWNER(S): The Tasca Family
WINEMAKER(S): Stefano Masciarelli

WINES

TENUTA TASCANTE "TEFRA" ROSATO ETNA DOC

The name Tefra is derived from the Greek word Tephra, meaning ashes.  The term refers to the explosively erupted, pyroclastic stones and soils from volcanic eruptions found in the vineyards of Mt. Etna.

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-faceted grape that ripens late and gains complexity with aging.  Grapes for the Tenuta Tascante 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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91
OCTOBER 2020
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Rampante Etna DOC 2016

Fresh and focused, this minerally red features a streak of salinity underscoring the well-knit flavors of crushed cherry, cured tobacco, dried fig and star anise. Offers a chewy, spiced finish. Best from 2021 through 2026. 500 cases made, 125 cases imported.

92
AUGUST 2019
Tenuta Tascante “Ghiaia Nera” Etna DOC 2017

"Deep red. Very flinty and pure aromas of red cherry, redcurrants and herbs. Then mineral with juicy acidity and plenty of youthful vibrancy to the floral flavors. A lovely Etna Rosso that finishes long and graceful. Unless memory fails me, this is the best ever Etna Rosso by Tasca d’Almerita at a similar stage of development. Well done."

91
NOVEMBER 2020
Tenuta Tascante “Buonora” Etna DOC 2019

Racy and mineral driven, this opens with delicate but enticing scents of white spring blossom, orchard fruit and citrus. The chiseled, tangy palate features ripe pear, green melon and Meyer lemon, while crisp acidity and mineral notes give great energy.                      

96
JANUARY 2020
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Rampante Etna DOC 2016

Intense and linear, this vibrant red has intriguing aromas of wild red berry, violet, dark spice, crushed stone and eucalyptus. On the lithe, racy palate, polished tannins and lively acidity frame crunchy red cherry, strawberry compote, orange zest and licorice before a saline finish. Drink 2021–2028.

93+
JUNE 2021
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Pianodario Etna DOC 2017

The 2017 Contrada Pianodario Etna Rosso opens slowly, focused at first on wild herbs and hints of damp earth. It blossoms with swirling, as a dusty display of dried strawberries and rose hips fills the glass. It’s soft, even fleshy in feel, yet supported by brisk acids and ripe red and black fruits. A coating of fine tannin mounts toward the close, revealing the Pianodario’s youthful poise, all under an air of violet florals and a jolt of tart woodland berries. This is certainly the most structured of Tenuta Tascante’s single vineyards from 2017, but also the most likely to benefit from medium-term cellaring.

94
AUGUST 2019
Tenuta Tascante “Ghiaia Nera” Etna DOC 2017

Love the freshness and drive to this Etna red, which is redolent of blueberries, cranberries, newly picked cherries and orange zest. So crunchy and vibrant on the palate, without a hint of overripeness. Medium-bodied and energetic, but serious. Drink now.    

92
SEPTEMBER 2020
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Rampante Etna DOC 2016

Produced from vines planted in 2000, this wraps its dark cherry and plum flavors in a lithe texture. Aged for a year in large Slavonian oak casks, the wine shows beautiful freshness and precision. (W&S 4/20)

92
OCTOBER 2019
Tenuta Tascante “Buonora” Etna DOC 2018

The unoaked 2018 Etna Bianco Buonora is a linear and crisp expression of the Carricante grape that is native to this part of Sicily and does particularly well on Etna. The grape absorbs the direct freshness and salinity of these volcanic soils with a snappy and crisp style that is likely to take on volume and depth as the wine continues its bottle evolution. White peach and citrus are enhanced by honey, rose and a Riesling-like touch of diesel fuel. Some 25,000 bottles were released.