Tenuta di Castellaro Corinto IGT Rosso Terre Siciliane 2017 (1.5L)

Corinto Nero
Massimo Lentsch

More Wines from Massimo Lentsch

Our tasting impressions

(N.B. I tasted this from 750mL): What a beauty! I am not fond of comparing wines from one region (or grape) to another but to give you a point of reference, one might say this is very Burgundian - if Burgundy had volcanic soil! Sniffed blind, I might have guessed Volnay. It's light (almost weightless) but there is remarkable presence on the palate and real gravitas. It's more refined and less structured than the 2018 (despite noticeable tannins) but with air, that same blood orange flavor emerges with a bouquet of herbs. I'm amazed at how delicate this is. A stunning wine that would be fun slipped into a blind tasting of serious red Burgundies. Bravo Massimo!


About this wine

100% Corinto Nero from the island of Lipari (north of Sicily, where it is generally warm and windy but with cool nights. The soil is sandy, volcanic ash that is deep, fertile and rich in nutrients. The 350 meter elevation vineyards(

Caolino, Gelso, Lisca, Panoramica, Cipressi and Punta Piana) located in Piana di Castellaro were re-planted in 2005, using Massale Selection. Wine production resumed in 2008. 


Handpicked grapes are de-stemmed and vinified in French oak barrels, maceration for about 10 days with some punching down. Then the wine goes into 500 liter barrels for malolactic fermentation and aging for at least 1 year before making only 2,500 bottles per year.


About the grape

Corinto Nero is a dark, thin-skinned grape that originated in Greece and Turkey before the Romans brought it to Sicily. Lipari is its principal habitat now. The grapes ripen early but are small and thus its yields are as well. It is quite robust and adapts well (it has been highly resistant to phylloxera).


Massimo's view of the vintage

Winter started early and was quite cold; delaying development of foliage by about two weeks. But favorable spring weather put vine development back on track. Warm temperatures and drastic day to night swings characterized the summer, which was surely hot, but not as much as in Central and Northern Italy. It was a complicated vintage. However, targeted and precise viticulture, allowed us to produce elegant and balanced wines with great aromatics.


Suggested Glassware: Grassl Cru

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!