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TENUTA TASCANTE

SICILY

TENUTA TASCANTE

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ABOUT THE WINERY

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 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(S): The Tasca Family
WINEMAKER(S): 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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92
SEPTEMBER 2020
Tenuta Tascante “Ghiaia Nera” Etna DOC 2016

Floral and juicy, with typical nerello mascalese flavors of dark plum, cherry, dried thyme and lavender, Ghaia Nera offers a great entry point to Etna Rosso. (W&S 4/20)

92
OCTOBER 2020
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova Etna DOC 2016

Tarry smoke and spice notes are layered with flavors of black cherry puree and raspberry fruit, wild sage and melted licorice in this expressive red. Medium- to full-bodied, with firm tannins on the finish. Drink now through 2026. 500 cases made, 125 cases imported.

97
AUGUST 2020
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Sciaranuova Vigna Vecchia Etna DOC 2017

Cedar, eucalyptus, Mediterranean scrub and wild berry are just some of the aromas you’ll find on this gorgeous red. On the drop-dead delicious palate, smoky mineral and licorice accent a core of juicy Morello cherry and blood orange. Fresh acidity and lithe, polished tannins provide elegant support. Drink through 2029.

96
JANUARY 2020
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Pianodario Etna DOC 2016

Underbrush, wild berry, blue flower, camphor and wet stone aromas lift out of the glass. The smooth palate is loaded with finesse, delivering succulent red cherry, strawberry compote, blood orange, star anise and a hint of tobacco framed in taut, polished tannins. Bright acidity keeps it beautifully balanced, and a tangy mineral note graces the close. Drink 2023–2036.

91
AUGUST 2019
Tenuta Tascante “Buonora” Etna DOC 2018

"Pale straw-green. Honey, chamomile, eucalyptus, minerals and lemon on the complex nose. Then expresses very good freshness in the mouth nicely lifting the sweet ripe citrus and pomaceous orchard fruit flavors. Finishes long with repeating notes of sweet chamomile and hints of resin"  

94
AUGUST 2019
Tenuta Tascante Contrada Pianodario Etna DOC 2016

Plenty of smoke, pumice, cedar, pine cones and cigar box on this one, not to mention dried strawberries and red licorice. Then come hints of treacle tart and fudge. Lots of mineral drive on the palate, which is wrapped up neatly in fine tannins. Medium-bodied and quite long on the finish. Drink now.    

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."

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.