In the region of Etna on the island of Sicily you’ll find Tenuta di Fessina, a winery established in 2007 by Silvia Maestrelli. From these 26 acres of vines, the winery produces seven wines under four different labels — Erse, Laeneo, A’Puddara, and Musmeci. Today we look at all but one of the current releases.
2016 Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Bianco DOC – A blend of carricante, minnella, and catarratto, none of which I am familiar with. Tastes a lot life a pinot grigio, with tons of fresh white fruit up front, but with a slightly ashy, mineral-heavy undercurrent. Notes of white pepper on the back end add structure, leading to a dry, slightly tight finish. B / $23
2017 Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Rosato DOC – A blend of nerello mascalese and nerello cappuccio. Not the most refined of rose wines, with a bitter edge that offers a significant orange peel note. The finish is quite dry, with notes of dried flowers and some dusky spice, with nary a berry in sight. B- / $23
2016 Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Rosso DOC – A blend of 90% nerello mascalese, 8% nerello cappuccio, plus 2% minnella and carricante. This is a fresh and fruit-heavy wine, a picnic wine, if you will, bursting with red berries, a hint of vanilla, and a little green olive character (plus a touch dill) that gives the wine a certain Mediterranean flair. Clean on the finish, with vibrant acidity and just a hint of sweetness. Easygoing but hard to put down. A- / $22
2016 Tenuta di Fessina A’Puddara DOC – 100% carricante. Fresh and lemony, this golden-hued white has a floral edge to it. Quite dry and increasingly herbal as it develops on the palate, this is an elegant wine that has a bitter/sour grapefruit edge to it, enjoyable on its own, but improving considerably when paired with a meal. B+ / $28
2016 Tenuta di Fessina Laeneo Nerello Cappuccio DOC – 100% nerello cappuccio. Soft and supple, with fresh blackberry and blueberry fruit tempered by notes of vanilla, licorice, and spice. Brambly and earthy at times, it’s a wine that benefits from air, opening up nicely after half an hour or so to reveal a modest sweetness and a chocolate-orange note on the finish. A- / $25
2012 Tenuta di Fessina Musmeci Etna Rosso DOC Reserva – 100% nerello mascalese. A supple wine, lightly floral but studded with strawberries in syrup, raspberry, and sprinkled with pepper. Violet notes emerge late in the game, along with a distinctly Italian dried oregano note. Delightfully drinkable. A / $43