The slopes of Mount Etna provide Andrea Franchetti ‘s team with interesting challenges, though the fact of the vineyard being sited on the slopes of a live volcano appears to be very low in Andrea’s concerns. 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 lava dust. 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. The volcanic minerality in the wines is however distinctive and impressive
"This vineyard is planted at 1000m above sea level, on lava flows just above the vines which produce the eponymous Passopisciaro itself. Production is very limited. We are often faced with wines with a minimal amount of Petit Verdot added to the blend, characterised as “seasoning‟. In 2011 Andrea has elected to blend 50% Petit Verdot with 50% Cesanese D‟Affile, an aromatic, indigenous varietal. Everything Andrea does is dictated by the ingredients the vintage provides and here the blend simply worked better over successive tastings, Petit Verdot providing colour and spice and Cesanese very lifted fruit character. This exhibits an abundance of ripe blackcurrant, blackberry and cherry compote on the nose and palate, attractively spiced - appetising and with an upbeat freshness.
Drink now 2013 - 2022
It is hard to imagine a more exciting or varied wine-producing country than Italy. With a vibrant winemaking history spanning over 2,000 years, and vineyards stretching from the Alps through the Appenine mountains to Sicily, the Italian peninsula is home to an enormous range of climates, topographies and soil typeshosting hundreds of distinctive grapes unique to Italy.
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