Contrada G 2012

2012 was a hot and dry year, with no rain from May to October – one of the warmest summers we’ve had on Etna. At the beginning of October we started tasting the grapes in the vineyards, but everything was quite unripe. The sugar was high while the acidity was low, and yet the plants were highly stressed to the point that the grapes were almost raisinated on the vine. All of the other winemakers harvested early as a result, but we felt the grapes’ pH was still too low and the alcohol too high to follow suite, instead irrigating and waiting for the grapes to mature properly. We risked losing the harvest, but finally the rains came. After just two days, the components – sugars and acidity – came into balance, and so we harvested very quickly. Fortunately, nerello mascalese is a strong vine, and even in the worst years it can be revived.

We harvested in this Contrada on October 24th and 26th. As big as Porcaria, this year’s wine from Guardiola is lighter-footed and more complex. It is minerally, ravishing, with lots of red fruit; lean, sticky, and velvety. It strongly evokes the mineral world.

Vineyard age: 80 years

Vineyard density: 8,000 vines per Ha

Vineyard altitude: 550 m a.s.l.

Yield per hectare: 20 Hl/Ha

Fertilization: None

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

Harvest: 23-31 October

Vinification: Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats for 10 days

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


“The 2012 Contrada G reveals earthy tones of crushed granite and flint that serve as a vivid remind that the great Etna volcano is never far. The Guardiola vineyard, which is stunningly beautiful by the way, sits between 800 and 1,000 meters above sea level. Franchetti’s property is located near the bottom of the Contrada and has vines that are up to 80 years old. The vineyard was spared from destruction by the 1947 eruption that sent violent lava flows down this way. Luscious fruit comes into focus and the wine is surprisingly soft and yielding on the finish. You rarely get this level of sensual richness in Etna reds. (Drink: 2015 2025)”

— Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, 93 points 

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Vini Franchetti