Passopisciaro Passorosso 2014  Front Label
Passopisciaro Passorosso 2014  Front LabelPassopisciaro Passorosso 2014  Front Bottle Shot

Passopisciaro Passorosso 2014

  • RP92
  • D91
  • WS90
750ML / 0% ABV
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  • WE93
  • D93
  • RP91
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3.7 23 Ratings
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3.7 23 Ratings
750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

There is this languid quality in the wines of 2014. In them, there is a massive quality, full-bodied with powerful aromas that hover just above the surface of the wine, instead of leaping out of the glass. It’s apparent that the wine is dense, yet soft; it has the aroma of sandalwood, and each month it shows the same grand, free quality, which seems to defy the laws of gravity. The perfume of sandalwood in the 2014 vintage softens the more typical aromas of citrus fruits and camphor, typical of the lavas of Etna.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2014 Etna Rosso Passorosso (100% Nerello Mascalese) stands out for the brightness and gorgeous intensity of its ruby color and healthy appearance. The wine is integrated but also mellow from an aromatic point of view with subdued tones of wild cherry and dried currant. With time in the glass, that intensity grows at a quick pace. Ultimately, this wine provides a very integrated and balanced taste of the mighty Sicilian volcano. For the first time, this wine has moved from the Terre Siciliane IGT appellation to become an Etna Rosso DOC.
Rating 92+
D 91
Decanter
Explosive on the nose, showing power and forthright cherry and red-fruit aromas. Broad and fleshy for Etna, this is concentrated and tannic, chewy and forceful – an imposing style that has grandeur rather than finesse. Long.
WS 90
Wine Spectator
Mouthwatering and medium-bodied, with expressive plum, pomegranate, spice box and dried marjoram flavors. There's grip here, but the tannins are plush and well-knit. A subtle streak of smoke lingers on the finish.
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Passopisciaro

Passopisciaro

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Passopisciaro, Italy
Passopisciaro Winemaker Andrea Franchetti Winery Image

In 2000 Andrea Franchetti decided to restore an old farm and cellars on the slopes of Mount Etna, an active volcano in northeastern Sicily. The winery sits at about a thousand meters of altitude above the small wine town of Passopisciaro in the district of Castiglione di Sicilia, on the northern slope of the volcano. His first task was to clear and restore long-abandoned terraces of ancient vines on the northern slopes of the mountain, replanting at a density of 12,000 vines per hectare on thin lavic soil. His arrival on Etna helped to initiate the renaissance of viticulture on the mountain and an international discovery of the wines of Etna. At Passopisciaro, he focuses on the native grape Nerello Mascalese and its various expressions of terroir and altitudes through a series of crus, as well as the varieties Chardonnay, Petit Verdot, and Cesanese d’Affile.

The high altitude, sun-drenched vineyards are idyllic yet a constant plume of smoke and the odd ash-filled belch present a constant reminder that Etna is indeed a volcano with attitude, given to relatively frequent lava spills. These spills devastate the landscape, yet each flow leaves a unique mineral profile, giving rise to the notion of various terroirs, here called contrade. The borders of the contrade reflect old feudal property lines, which are still mapped out on the local land registry. Franchetti respects and plays to the strengths of his chosen terroir on Etna, producing wines of remarkable complexity and individual personality. Significant temperature differences between day and night also play an important role, necessitating a longer growing period and this, in turn, contributes complexity and intensity, as do the profound mineral elements of the volcanic soils.

Franchetti makes eight different wines at Passopisciaro, with six focused on the grape Nerello Mascalese. The wine Passorosso is a bright, holistic rendering of the grape that is unique and ever-present on the volcano, blending from different altitudes and terroirs. During the first several years of making wine on the volcano, Franchetti realized that once the Nerello grapes reached the cellar, they produced different wines depending on the district from which they came from; starting in 2008, he began to bottle the top sites separately, helping to usher in a cru system on Mt. Etna. These five Contrada wines — Chiappemacine, Porcaria, Guardiola, Sciaranuova, and Rampante — each come from vineyards of different ages and are each on a lava flow with different minerals, grain size, and altitudes.

In 2005, Franchetti began making a striking red, to which he gave his own name Franchetti, made with the grapes Petit Verdot and Cesanese d’Affile, loaded with sweet spices, cassis and plum that are woven together with profound elegance. He produced his first white Guardiola Bianco, now Passobianco, in 2007, a 100% Chardonnay planted at 850-1,000 metres above sea level, with a fresh, mineral and aromatic profile reminiscent of the great whites of Burgundy.

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BTO256126_2014 Item# 256126

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