Contrada G 2018
ABOUT THE VINTAGE
At 800 meters above sea level, Contrada Guardiola is an ancient domain at the heart of the estate that produces a rich, juicy wine with fleshy red fruit and smoky mineral tones. We make this wine from a selection of 100+ year-old vines.
2018 was one of the rainiest and most tropical vintages we’ve seen on Etna in the last eight years, especially at the end of the summer. This year, we had to increase the number of times we passed through the vineyards to remove leaves mindfully, avoiding any burning but allowing air to pass through the canopy to mitigate the effects of this wet and humid climate. We countered effects of disease with natural products like clay and propolis as well.
With the red wines, we found ourselves with rain, humid, and sometimes fog — not ideal conditions at the end of the of growing season, but knowing how to work our vineyards, we did not let ourselves be deceived and intervened where and as needed, like a mosaic, in the various Contrade and from the vineyards from which we make our Passorosso.
The wines of this year will be varietally correct, linear, with a pronounced acidity, with the long-lived characteristics that define the finer vintage on Etna.
Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 96 points: “Rose, underbrush and red-berry aromas shape the alluring nose along with whiffs of new leather and menthol. Smooth and delicious, the mouthwatering palate boasts a compelling combination of roundness, energy, depth and precision, delivering juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and wild thyme. Racy acidity and elegant tannins lend balance and finesse while a tangy mineral note suggesting wet stone lingers on the close. Drink through 2028.”
Ian D’Agata, 95 points: “Between the wines he makes at his Tenuta di Trinoro estate (this year’s releases are all outstanding yet again) and these at Etna’s Vini Franchetti, there is probably nobody in Italy who makes more hedonistically sensual, opulent wines than Andrea Franchetti. Think Pingus with an added note of minerality and you’ll know exactly what I mean. Franchetti’s greatness is that his wines, though remarkably generous, fleshy and glyceral, are never over the top) The Contrada G has that note of minerality and extra lift without the massive uncompromising tannins of say the Contrada P or R and is simply an amazingly good Etna Rosso that you should try and stock your cellar with. Drinking: 2025-2035.”
Walter Speller, Jancis Robinson, 17+ points: “Just mid ruby with orange tinges. Brooding, sweet, deep and complex nose of raspberry and sour cherry and savoury top notes. On the palate, it has more stuffing than Contrada P but with similar energetic acidity. Fresh and with supporting, tightly knit tannins that make themselves felt without dominating the palace. Drink 2021-2028.”
Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 92 points: “A release of 3,860 bottles, the Passopisciaro Vini Franchetti 2018 Contrada G draws its Nerello Mascalese from the Guardiola vineyard, located in the village of Castiglione di Sicilia, with vines at 800 meters in elevation. This site is walled off by a much newer lava flow that formed in 1947, but it stopped before damaging the ancient vines. The wine is lean and streamlined with a mild and pretty bouquet focused on wild berry, rose potpourri, ash and hints of tarry spice and smoke. Some dustings of white pepper also appear. Its polished tannins are fully integrated into the wine’s light texture. You might enjoy it with a Sicilian minestra with lentils. Drink 2021-2030”
Eric Guido, Vinous, 92 points: “The 2018 Contrada Guardiola, or simply “G,” seduces with a perfumed display of fresh roses, violets and geraniums; notes of dried strawberries and hints of smoke emerge in the glass. It’s like pure silk on the palate, matched by a vivid display of cherries and purple-tinged inner florals, while slowly gaining a more tactile feel through a blend of minerals and round tannins that settle in toward the close. This is so pretty and graceful in feel, yet with a saturating concentration of tarry fruit which, combined with the underlying structure, will promise years of development. In fact, it was only six hours after opening that the 2018 began to show more of a giving nature. Rest this for a few years in the cellar to unleash its inner beauty. Drinking Window: 2023 – 2032”
100% Nerello Mascalese
800 m asl