Massimo Lentsch Cosentino Etna Rosso DOC 2019

Nerello Mascalese
Massimo Lentsch

More Wines from Massimo Lentsch

Expected Spring 2024

Our tasting impressions

The early word from my sources was that the 2019 is even better than the 2016. Hard to imagine I thought. Then I tasted. Zowie! This young Cosentino is a marvel of freshness, purity and gorgeous fruit.  It really is the Full Monty. It's too soon to say it bests the 2016 but it certainly makes a strong and compelling case that it can. Don't miss this.

About this wine

A brand new varietal wine from Nerello Mascalese in Passopisciaro on the Northern slope of Mt. Etna. Elevation is 750 meters above sea level. There is significant variation between day and night temperatures, which is an important factor in the quality of the grapes.

The vineyard of Cosentino in the Contrada of Feudo di Mezzo was planted more than 100 years ago. Some of the vines are original rootstock. They are planted on several terraces in a "Clos", with the walls of dry lava stone. The soil is sandy and volcanic, rich in minerals and lapilli (small stones spewed from eruptions).

The manually harvested grapes are partially de-stemmed and fermented by naturally occurring yeasts. Following a long maceration, with the skins, the wine is decanted into oak barrels for the malolactic fermentation. Fifteen months later, it is moved to a steel tank. Bottling, 6 months later, is without clarification or filtration. Only 3,500 bottles are produced annually.

About the grape

Nerello Mascalese is the grape most associated with Etna. Elsewhere in Sicily, it is predominantly a blending variety. But, in Etna’s high elevation, climate and mineral-rich, volcanic soil, it plays a starring role. It is dark-skinned, late-ripening and acidic. It is not uncommon to liken it to Nebbiolo and Pinot Noir.

Massimo's view of the vintage

2019 is a classic Etna vintage with slight rainfall also recorded in the summer and with the usual temperature changes between day and night. This helped refresh the grapes and enhance their aromatics, in particular for the Nerello Mascalese, which was harvested in mid-October for Etna Rosso. The resulting wines are fragrant and with very fine and integrated tannins, and above all, with a great evolutionary potential.

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!