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**Pre-arrival orders for the next shipment due in April are now being taken**

Over the last few years, the amount of Etna Rosso in my cellar has been steadily increasing. Along with Passopisciaro, the wines of Calabretta, Terre Nerre, SRC, Graci and Griolamo Russo have caught my attention. Perhaps, it’s no coincidence that their vineyards are located around the corner from each other.

Made from 100% Nerello Mascelese. Passopisciaro, with this other producers, has stood out through their consistent ability to deliver wines of personality, intrigue and great harmony.

Today we offer Passopisciaro 2016 Passorosso.

Having tasted an array of Nerello Mascelese from 2016 the wines have shown a lovely richness and balance. It looks like an amazing year!

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.

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.

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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 2016 Vintage

From the Winery:

Passorosso is from ancient vines between 80-110 years old and from different terroirs on different lava flows and altitudes.

At Passopisciaro, 2016 gave us even, steadily ripening grapes so that we were able to pick with an exact timing. I would run up every morning to find the same little jump forward in the vineyards then decide to give them another night. I would descend to the winery where the fluid procession of pickups loaded with nerello fruit from all our contradas had resumed.

First, one is surprised by the grapes’ way of ripening on the vine. When grapes have been fermenting for three for three on four days, you begin to see the style of the wine just in time to help it along. Each year carries wine that we have never seen before, their makings not in the year’s weather.

The character of this vintage will be similar across every territory of Italy: wines of 2016 will be smooth because the grapes were ripe; they will be gentle, because taste and color are coming away from the grapes effortlessly. We had no need to push and squeeze in the tank.

The 2016 Passorosso is fresh, fruity, and bright, with ever present minerality. Bright ruby in color, the mineral aromas immediately float from the glass, followed by pepper and bright red fruits. The pepper and minerality continue on the palate, framing a pop of ripe red fruits on the mid palate. The tannins are quite pronounced; along with the acidity, this creates great tension in the mouth and gives way to a long, persistent finish.

*Stocks will move fast. First come, first served. Wines will be allocated on a 1st in 1st served basis for delivery in late April.

About the Wines

2016 Passorosso

95 points

Tasted at the winery in August, and I believe it’ll be in the country in a month or so.

Raspberry, cherry, light spice and smokiness, almond, floral prettiniess this vintage too. Bright red fruits, firm, brick dust tannin, very ‘mineral’ and stony, slip of orange peel and dried herb on the finish. It’s a complete iteration of Passorosso with weight of fruit, freshness and perfume all in the mix. Splendid.

Gary Walsh