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Passopisciaro Passopisciaro 2006

Other Red Blends from Sicily, Italy
  • RP93
  • ST93
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Winemaker Notes

Up at 1000 meters on Mount Etna, a powerful hot summer baked our old vines of Nerello Mascalese in 2006 . The slopes of the volcano had been covered with icy snow until April and the plants had all the nourishment that they needed. That combination of good intake during growth and then heat in the summer made the skins into a strong fabric that carried the grapes safely all the way into November; which is where the altitude has them reach a late ripeness. Many pickings at different stages of this kind of maturity added complexity and length to the final wine. It was a monster that had to be chiseled and polished many times, but finally it turned itself into the elegant kind of wine that Nerello Mascalese can be.

Critical Acclaim

RP 93
The Wine Advocate

I am not sure how he manages to do it, but the 2006 Passopisciaro somehow reconciles the super-ripe style that is Franchetti's signature without sacrificing the weightless, ethereal personality of the wines of Etna. Think of the 2006 Passopisciaro as a cross between Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo. The wine possesses incredible purity to its candied red cherries, spices and flowers. The wine blossoms on the palate with extraordinary depth and length. This gorgeous effort will be tempting to drink young as the sheer density of the fruit is compelling, but the wine is so primary at this stage one can only wonder what might develop in bottle. This is a wonderful effort from Franchetti. Anticipated maturity: 2010-2021.

Andrea Franchetti wasn't content to just make profound wines at his Tuscan estate, Tentua di Trinoro, so he set out to replicate that success at Passopisciaro, his property on Mount Etna. These new releases are nothing less than breathtaking.

ST 93
International Wine Cellar

Bright ruby. Pure, expressive raspberry and red cherry aromas show a strong mineral underpinning. Huge red fruit and herb flavors are supported by a smoky, mineral quality. Has a texture of liquid silk, with high but harmonious acidity giving shape to the flavors. Conveys a deft touch, finishing with fine-grained tannins and persistent notes of milk chocolate, coffee and toffee.

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Passopisciaro

Passopisciaro

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Passopisciaro, , Italy
Passopisciaro
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.

Home to some of the world’s finest and longest-lived sweet and dry white wines...

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Home to some of the world’s finest and longest-lived sweet and dry white wines, the Mosel is a region of Germany formerly known as Mosel-Saar-Ruwer—named thusly for the three rivers that flow through its dramatic valleys. Geology, climate and topography are paramount here, and the wines produced communicate a distinct sense of place. In addition to being prized for their heat-retaining properties, slate-based soils lend a stony minerality to the wines, contributing to some of the most recognizable terroir in the world. Cool temperatures necessitate the use of the region’s rivers to reflect heat onto the vineyards, and the best wines are made from sites with south or southwest facing slopes to receive sufficient direct sunlight for ripening. The breathtakingly steep slopes that straddle the river banks cannot be worked by machine, contributing to a high cost of labor (and treacherous working conditions).

Riesling is by far the most important and prestigious grape of the Mosel, grown on approximately 60% of the region’s vineyard land—typically the sites that provide the best combination of sunlight, soil type, and altitude. These wines, dry or sweet, are distinguished by marked acidity, low alcohol, and intense flavors of wet stone, citrus, and stone fruit. With age, a pleasing aroma of petroleum often develops. The lesser plots are mainly planted with lower-maintenance but relatively neutral varieties like [Müller-Thurgau] and other German crosses, but Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir) and Weissburgunder (Pinot Blanc) can perform quite well here.

Riesling

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision...

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A regal variety of incredible purity and precision, Riesling possesses a remarkable ability to reflect the character of wherever it is grown while still maintaining easily identifiable typicity. This versatile grape can be just as enjoyable dry or sweet, young or old, still or sparkling, and can age longer than nearly any other white variety. Riesling is best known in Germany and Alsace, and is also of great importance in Austria. The variety has also been particularly successful in Australia’s Clare and Eden Valleys, New Zealand, Oregon, Washington, cooler regions of California, and the Finger Lakes in New York.

In the Glass

Riesling is low in alcohol, with high acidity, steely minerality, and stone fruit, spice, citrus, and floral notes. At its ripest it leans towards juicy peach and nectarine, and pineapple, while in cooler climes it is more redolent of meyer lemon, lime, and green apple. With age, Riesling can become truly revelatory, developing unique, complex aromatics, often with a hint of gasoline.

Perfect Pairings

Riesling is very versatile, enjoying the company of sweet-fleshed fish like sole, most Asian food, especially Thai and Vietnamese (bottlings with some residual sugar and low alcohol are the perfect companions for dishes with substantial spice), and freshly shucked oysters. Sweeter styles work well with fruit-based desserts.

Sommelier Secret

It can be difficult to discern the level of sweetness in a Riesling, and German labeling laws do not make things any easier. Look for the world “trocken” to indicate a dry wine, or “halbtrocken” or “feinherb” for off-dry. Some producers will include a helpful sweetness scale on the back label—happily, a growing trend.

STCEI069X2006_2006 Item# 102531

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