Over the last few years, the amount of Etna Rosso in my cellar has been steadily increasing. Along with Passopisciaro, the wines of Graci 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 has stood out through their consistent ability to deliver wines of personality, intrigue and great harmony.
Along with the wines of Terroir al Limit, SC Guillard and Equipo Navazos, Clonakilla and Wendouree, these have been some of the most inspired wines I have devoured in recent years.
Today we offer you the Passopisciaro Contrade (single vineyard wines) from 2014.
Having tasted the standard 2014’s from Passopisciaro, Graci and a number of other producers, it looks like an amazing year!
“I make that claim based on what I believe will be the most exciting vintage for Etna red wines. The yet unreleased 2014 vintage is Etna’s ultimate warning sign that something great lays over the horizon. I believe it will be a ‘make or break’ vintage for this emerging wine region in the deep south of Italy. The growing conditions were excellent and the resulting wines represent a clear jump forward in quality compared to the challenging 2013 and 2012 vintages. Unlike other parts of Italy that saw wet and damp conditions during much of the 2014 summer season, Etna (and Sicilian wine in general) enjoyed sun-drenched days and marked diurnal shifts between day and night time temperatures. This helped to make aromas and fruity flavours more pronounced.”
– Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
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.
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!
Your tongue will thank you!
*Stocks of the Contrade are extremely limited. First come, first served. Wines will be allocated on a 1st in 1st served basis in late-August for delivery in early September you will be invoiced upon shipment.