Contrada C 2009

There was plenty of nourishment from the snow line at about 800 meters, extending and receding across the vineyards for most of the winter and into the spring. Then the furious weather changes of a high mountain mixed sunshine and drizzle until a dry summer set in. The sun on Etna works moderately but very steadily for all of three months, with a peculiar stress to the vineyards, which is that of a progressive drought of the soil and not the burning that is normally inflicted on the vines.

In line with the weather trend of the last two years, 2009 featured earlier rains that fell at the end of September and again in mid-October, with prolonged dampness and low-cast skies. Luckily, nerello mascalese fares well with a certain amount of rain at the end of ripening. In this particular soil, thin as face powder, water slides off a waterproof skin and doesn’t reach the roots. The tight skins of the nerello grapes also resist for a long time before damaging.

The relief of early rainwater brings the ripening to a head. These earlier pickings produced wines generally varietal-like, light in alcohol, peppery and leaning on the indigenous, the carnal, the shameless. They are also backward just enough for the making of a solid texture that will give them aging potential.

Vineyard age: 80 years

Vineyard density: 8,000 vines per Ha

Vineyard altitude: 550 m/1,000 ft a.s.l.

Yield per hectare: 20 Hl/Ha

Fertilization: None

Spraying: Clay, propolis, sulphur, copper, grapefruit seed extract

Vinification: Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats for 10 days

Aging: Malolactic fermentation followed by 18 months aging in large, neutral oak barrels


“It possesses attractive density and expressive fruit, all supported by firm yet well-balanced tannins. A bright, articulate finish adds proportion and balance.”

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Vini Franchetti