Contrada C 2015


2015 was a quick and early-ripening year on Etna. It was a year of great vitality within the plants, fertilized in the well-watered soils from the rainy winter, followed by tremendous heat during the summer. The long period of rain in early October weakened the skins, with a nasty cloud hanging and dripping humidity for weeks, leaving dew every morning. The grapes began showing color, ripeness, and sweetness quite, while maintaining their searing acidity, bringing advanced ripening across our vineyards.

The rains brought with them mold and other problems, so to keep them healthy, we returned again to the vineyards after our green harvest and began to pick out the unhealthy grapes from each bunch, one by one. We began to pick earlier in the month, starting in the lowest vineyards of Chiappemacine and Malpasso up to the vines just below Guardiola on the 16th of October. We picked in Chiappemacine on October 17th.

The nerello wines from this vintage are good: mineral, salty, varietal wines. The vintage is not like 2012, not like 2014, but nonetheless a complete and structured picture of Mount Etna, with a good skeleton, high acidity, and low alcohol.


Bright red. Sweet spices and red cherry on the vivid nose. Then enters soft and round, but turns livelier, thanks to vibrant acidity that lifts the floral and red cherry flavors. Less explosive on the nose than Rampante and Sciaranuova, with a high, lemony acidity on the palate that speaks of this site’s calcareous soils. The C in the wine’s name stands for Chiappemacine (550 meters asl). The word chiappemacine itself derives from the large stone wheels used to crush olives when making olive oil.”

Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator, 93 points: “Snappy tannins and bright acidity are well-meshed with flavors of wild cherry, raspberry, mineral and spice in this vivid, light- to medium-bodied red. Hints of smoke and licorice linger on the creamy finish. Drink now through 2028.”

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Vini Franchetti