We last encountered the wines of Tenuta di Fessina — which are bottled under several different labels — just a year ago. Today we look at Fessina’s new vintage releases (sans the Musmeci release, which wasn’t available for review) for 2020. Thoughts follow.
2017 Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Bianco DOC – A blend of carricante, minnella, and catarratto. A somewhat sour wine, with heavy notes of minerals and a through-line of tart grapefruit. The wine feels on the unripe side, though notes of melon and a touch of mango give the finish some needed nuance. B- / $25
2018 Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Rosato DOC – A blend of nerello mascalese and nerello cappuccio. Tart and a bit bitter, you might think you were drinking a flat Aperol Spritz with this wine, thanks to the bracing grapefruit and blood orange character on the finish. When ice cold, the pungency is agreeable, though potpourri notes give the finish a particularly drying character. B- / $20
2016 Tenuta di Fessina Erse Etna Rosso DOC – A blend of 90% nerello mascalese, 8% nerello cappuccio, plus 2% minnella and carricante. Note that this is a repeat of last year’s vintage. Again it acquits itself well, racy with acidity and notes of fresh orange peel, strawberry, and bright cherry juice. A cola note is evident on the nose, with a sweet cream character on the finish. B+ / $25
2017 Tenuta di Fessina A’Puddara DOC – 100% carricante. Lively, with notes of lemon and lime and a hint of sour grapefruit. Very acidic up front, with some floral elements emerging as the wine unfolds in the glass (and as it warms up). Best with a dish that can stand up to the vibrant acidity. B+ / $35
2017 Tenuta di Fessina Laeneo Nerello Cappuccio DOC – 100% nerello cappuccio. Vibrant with notes of fresh cherry and a lacing of both raspberry and blueberry, lined with a rustic edge of leather and a hint of spice. A kick of lemon peel gives the finish a nice acidity that makes it approachable on its own, with notes of black pepper giving the finish a pop. Easily the best wine in this lineup. A- / $45