Massimo Lentsch Carricante IGT Terre Siciliane Bianco 2021

Massimo Lentsch

More Wines from Massimo Lentsch

Expected Spring 2024

Our tasting impressions

A terrific second edition of our beloved Carricante. The 2021 is a bit richer and fuller but the acidity remains strong and keeps the wine's cut and precision. The strong minerality is here along with waxy white fruits. It's long on the finish and quite provocative all around. It will be a fascinating pleasure to follow these 2 vintages through their evolution. A great white wine from an outstanding grape.

About this wine

Mostly Carricante from the Gabelle vineyard on the northern slope of Randazzo on Mount Etna in the Contrada of Calderara Sottana. Ten percent of the blend is Grecanico and Catarratto (2 other indigenous varieities). At 600 meters, there is significant temperature variations between day and night. The soil in the lower part is alluvial stony while in the upper part, it is sandy, rich in lava blocks and volcanic deposits.

The vines are trained in the alberello system. Harvesting is by hand with careful selection of bunches. A short cold maceration precedes a soft pressing of the bunches of grapes. This is followed by a static decanting at 10-12°C to clear the must. Fermentation is at 16-18°C in steel tanks with bâtonnage and lees contact for about 6 months. Then it rests in bottle for another 3 months before release. About 4,200 bottles were produced of this first-time offering from Massimo Lentsch.

About the grape

Ancient lore indicates that the Greeks brought Carricante to Sicily in the 8th century BC. The late ripening grape grow in abundance (Carricante translates to load) so green harvesting is key to achieving concentration. Low alcohol and high acidity are typical. In the past, it was blended with grapes like Catarratto, but Etna winemakers have come to realize Carricante's great potential as a varietal wine.

Massimo's view of the vintage

The winter was moderate except for a brief and sudden frost in March which fortunately did not cause serious damage to our vineyards. The intense heat and drought of spring and summer severely stressed the vines. The cool breeze typical of the Northern slope helped. In autumn, the rains came but the clusters ripened prematurely thanks to the mild temperatures and the significant temperature variations between day and night. We decided to harvest each variety a few days earlier than usual, to safeguard freshness and prevent too much alcohol development.

Massimo Lentsch

Massimo Lentsch is atypical among the winemakers in the VDLT Community, as he was not born into grape farming. He had a successful export business, which included a major wine estate. But always, wine was a passion. He discovered Lipari, the largest of the Aeolian Islands, north of Sicily during a sailing excursion. He decided immediately to establish Tenuta di Castellaro in 2005. His wines from 20ha of vineyards have become widely admired.


In 2018, he created another Azienda in Etna. Though nearby, and similarly volcanic, they are widely divergent - and Etna is a much more competitive region. The new estate, which bears his name, is 10.4ha on the slopes of Mount Etna, in the Province of Catania. It is in the communes of Castiglione di Sicilia and Randazzo, in the Contrade (Districts) of Feudo di Mezzo, Caldera Sottana, Chiusa Politi and Pianodario.


His vineyards are at high elevations so they are rich in volcanic soil. They are organically farmed, mostly by hand. In keeping with his commitment to local traditions, Massimo employs the head-trained system in Lipari and the Albarello training system in Etna to manage his vines. Amazingly, harvesting is considered on a per-vine basis.


Massimo’s passion and dedication are palpable. He blends respect for the past with entrepreneurship to produce wonderfully terroir-driven, yet distinct wines. It seems like there is no stopping him!