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Passopisciaro Franchetti 2009

Other Red Blends from Sicily, Italy
  • RP96
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

Summers are barely hot enough in the higher strata of Mount Etna's air to launch the minuscule berries into ripening; all our terraces that are nestled in the raw lava up there where harvested during the last week of October. The grapes' ripening had been slowed by racing temperature changes, often of a full 20° change during the 24 hours; they certainly packed the excitement that this does to their aromatic making, because last March, eighteen months after harvest, the wines in the barrels were suddenly bursting into astonishing flavors suggesting a western version of the tropical; camphor, marzipan, citron and laurel instead of ananas and banana. Guided by this, I started mixing the Cesanese and the Petit Verdot wines until I found this blend of 20% of Petit Verdot, 80% Cesanese.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Franchetti is another stunning wine. The blend is Cesanese d'Affile (80%) and Petit Verdot (20%) that are the result of massal selections from Lazio and Franchetti's own Tenuta di Trinoro respectively. It is a fabulously ripe, exotic wine that envelops the palate with layers of dark fruit. Refined tannins support the fruit, while intense inner perfume adds sweetness and elegance, especially on the layered finish. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.
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Passopisciaro

Passopisciaro

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Passopisciaro, Sicily, Italy
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In 2000, before Etna and its ancient vineyards become a place of pilgrimage by winemakers, and home to a new generation of wineries, Andrea Franchetti decided that he would create an estate on the slopes of the volcano. Passopisciaro winery was created, with 40 acres in the town of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the north side of Etna, at about a thousand meters altitude, where he vinified grapes from old and very old vines from the area. The first wine produced at Passopisciaro was a Nerello Mascalese; brilliant ruby in color, with a perfume of great elegance, extraordinary mineral depth that characterizes the great wines of Etna. Andrea's vision moved forward with the planting of high-altitude vineyards in order to dramatically reduce the yields with no risk of overripeness or excessive alcohol. In 2009, we started producing wines that are named The Contrade Etna: Porcaria, Guardiola, Chiappemacine, Sciaranuova, Rampante. Contradas are differen Mount Etna crus, ancient feudal properties which over time were split but still well mapped. Andrea Franchetti realized immediately that the as grapes reachd the cellar, each gave different wines depending on the district came from. The contradas are each on a lava flow with different minerals, grain size and altitude: this has led to Andrea making wines separately from each Contrada.

A large, geographically and climatically diverse island, just off the toe of Italy, Sicily has long been recognized for its fortified Marsala wines. But it is also a wonderful source of diverse, high quality red and white wines. Steadily increasing in popularity over the past few decades, Italy’s fourth largest wine-producing region is finally receiving the accolades it deserves and shining in today's global market.

Though most think of the climate here as simply hot and dry, variations on the sun-drenched island range from cool Mediterranean along the coastlines to more extreme in its inland zones. Of particular note are the various microclimates of Europe's largest volcano, Mount Etna, where vineyards grow on drastically steep hillsides and varying aspects to the Ionian Sea. The more noteworthy red and white wines that come from the volcanic soils of Mount Etna include Nerello Mascalese and Nerello Cappuccio (reds) and Carricante (whites). All share a racy streak of minerality and, at their best, bear resemblance to their respective red and white Burgundies.

Nero d’Avola is the most widely planted red variety, and is great either as single varietal bottling or in blends with other indigenous varieites or even with international ones. For example, Nero d'Avola is blended with the lighter and floral, Frappato grape, to create the elegant, Cerasuolo di Vittoria, one of the more traditional and respected wines of the island.

Grillo and Inzolia, the grapes of Marsala, are also used to produce aromatic, crisp dry whites. Pantelleria, a subtropical island belonging to the province of Sicily, specializes in Moscato di Pantelleria, made from the variety locally known as Zibibbo.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

STC572834_2009 Item# 146220