Etna, I’m glad I met ya

Benanti 1999 Etna Rosso Rovitello (Sicily) – Prominent tannin is just starting to integrate, but this is still a stridently-structured wine in the forepalate, with a good measure of the wine’s signature ash not exactly bringing the softness. A silky fireplace wine of red fruit in an old oak drawing room, warming and delicious, with fine presence and a texture that grows more appealing as the wine aerates. Though there is a limit: at the end of a few hours’ sipping, the “closed for business” shingle is once more hung on the nail, and the wine’s qualities retreat behind a forbidding pressure door of tannin once again. This could use a longer nap. (9/08)

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