Product information

Passopisciaro Contrada ‘G’ Guardiola Nerello Mascelese 2017

Nerello Mascalese from Etna, Sicily, Italy


$110ea in any 3+
$105ea in any 6+
Closure: Cork
Guardiola higher elevation puts it on the more elegant side of the scales!


Made from Nerello Mascelese, some call it the Barolo of the South, others a cross between Pinot & Nebbiolo. I prefer to say it is itself & delicious. The vineyards of Etna have undergone a major renaissance in the last couple of decades. Passipisciaro has been one of the wineries at the forefront. I was blown away the first time I tasted this wine.

The 2017 Guardiola is another great example of what has to be one of my favourite Contrada! A perfectly poised wine, balancing the generosity of the vintage with the poise of this high elevation Contrada. As always the complexity and harmony are superb. Excellent line and length of tannin with just the right amount of grip.

It will be fascinating to see all the Contrada evolve, particularly how the Rampante & Guardiola compare of time. I suspect it will be a matter of celebrating the differences rather than finding one winner!

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Why is this Wine so Yummy?

Check out all the 🌋Lava Juice!🍇

Contrada Guardiola (Contrada G) is an ancient domain between 800 and 1,000 m (2,600 to 3,300 ft) above sea level, on the edge of the lava flow from Etna’s 1947 eruption. It produces a deep and complex wine with a rich taste of red fruit. We make this wine from a careful selection of some of our older Nerello Mascalese vines, which we started bottling separately beginning in 2011.

About Passopisciaro

Read all about our extensive tastings of Passopisciaro wines in our Wine Bites Mag article “Passopisciaro the Jurasic Park of Wine! Ancient Vines Revived to Create the Liquid Essence of Etna!”

The article includes a look at all the Contrade from both 2012 and 2013.

Explore Etna with our primer “Getting Your Head Around Sicily’s Mount Etna”

Listen 🎧to Andrea Franchetti’s Podcast with Levi Dalton

Passopisciaro is at once both a fossil and a piece of modern art! Vines aged from 70-120 years old grow on the slopes of a volcano at altitudes that make noses bleed. Less than 20 years ago these wines were unknown, the Grandfathers of today’s revolutionists made simple wine from overcropped vineyards.


Today the next generations are pushing the boundaries making wines from 100% Nerello Mascalese. Often referred to as a hybrid of the great Nebbiolo’s from Barolo and Pinot Noir’s from Burgundy, Nerello Mascalese is capable of making wines with real personality! They’ve taken something incredibly ancient, gone back to the DNA and started again. In under a decade the evolution of these wines have accelerated through a millennia.

Vines have been nurtured back to balance, tended by hand on terraced vineyards that one in every  3 years find themselves under ash clouds hurled into the sky from the very mountain they are planted on, a volcano, Mt Etna!

The 2017 Vintage

From the Winery:

The heatwaves that hit the mainland of Italy also came to Etna. With no drops in temperature that usually brighten the nights, the long, hot summer lasted until mid-September. We had to add a little water to the vines to help them through. The grapes had ripened steadily and gradually during late summer and, especially, fall. The advanced maturation in the grapes caused the harvest to begin more than a week earlier than usual and all at once, from October 20th to 29th.

The Nerello Mascalese wines of 2017 are strong in body, powerful in structure, with notes of ripe red fruits, blood orange, pomegranate, and camphor.

97 Points

Here's another stunning wine from this fantastic estate, opening with aromas of underbrush, wild berry, tobacco, rose and dried mint. The structured, elegant palate delivers crushed raspberry, strawberry compote, star anise and flinty mineral, while taut, refined tannins provide finesse and support. Drink 2021–2029.

Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast

94 Points

The 2017 Contrada G (from the spectacular Contrada Guardiola) is a very elegant and polished expression with small berry intensity, crème de cassis, dried pomegranate and delicate whiffs of exotic spice. The wine positions itself with vertical intensity thanks to its mid-weight mouthfeel and very focused aromatic intensity that awakens the senses. I love the extremely polished and pristine nature of this 100% Nerello Mascalese.

Where in the world does the magic happen?

Passopisciaro Winery, Via Guardiola, Castiglione di Sicilia, Province of Catania, Italy