Contrada G 2019
ABOUT THE VINTAGE
Contrada Guardiola is an ancient district located between 800m and 1000m above sea level, on the edge of a recent flow of 1947 that stopped just before the vineyards. From the ancient vineyards a deep and complex wine is produced with a rich hint of red fruits. Only the grapes selected from the oldest vineyards are used for this cru that we started to produce in 2011.
A late ripening year on Mt. Etna as well, the vintage was characterized by a decidedly cold spring during April and May, with a light frost over May 6-7. This persistent cold weather continued until the end of May without interruption, causing a significant delay in flowering, which itself continued until the middle of June.
June finally brought a gradual and constant increase in temperatures, with the chardonnay flowering first on the 13th, with subsequent fruit set, sparser this year. Then, toward the end of the month, we began to have incredibly high temperatures, peaking near 40 degrees Celsius (almost 104 degrees Fahrenheit); these heat spikes lasted until the end of September, allowing the vines to recuperate some of the time lost by the cold spring. This allowed us to begin thinning the berries at the start of August.
The Chardonnay harvest began later this year, on September 17th, and entering into October, we had an important jump in phenolic ripeness in the red berries thanks to a dramatic period in the diurnal cycle that occurred at the same time as the first quarter moon. This vintage brought about sinuous wines that are not too high in alcohol, with the right equilibrium between fresh fruit and vertical acidity, characteristics due to this final period of physiological maturity at the end of the winding growing season. A year of excellent quality since the rains spared us their odious inference.
Walter Speller, Jancis Robinson, 17.5 points: “Just mid ruby and youthful. Captivating, stony, minerally raspberry nose. Brooding depth, sweetly perfumed. Racy cherry and raspberry with coating tannins sticking to the fruit. Still tight, a little embryonic and super-elegant. Drink 2022-2028”
Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 97 points: “Showing its Etna pedigree and loaded with finesse, this gorgeous red has inviting aromas of camphor, crushed red berries, blue flowers and Mediterranean brush. Full-bodied but boasting an almost weightless elegance, the enveloping, delicious palate delivers raspberry compote, ripe strawberry and baking spice alongside a flinty mineral note that lends depth. Enveloping, polished tannins provide lithe support while fresh acidity keeps it balanced. It’s already showing beautifully so there’s no need to wait. Drink through 2029.”
Eric Guido, Vinous, 94 points: “The 2019 Contrada Guardiola (G) lifts from the glass in classic form: dark, smoky, ashy even, with a burst of spiced black cherries that evolves with coaxing. This is lifted in feel, impressing with a core of salty minerality and bright acids before releasing its ripe red fruits and inner rose tones. The 2019 maintains amazing energy while tapering offstructured and savory, with hints of sage and fresh plum that linger. The Guardiola is a selection of old vines from within the vineyard, growing between 800 to 1,000 meters in elevation. Drinking Window: 2024 – 2030”
Monica Larner, Robertparker.com, 95 points: “The Vini Franchetti 2019 Contrada G is elegant and tight with varietal tones of wild berry, black rose, iron ore and spent ember. The wine is streamlined and elegant in texture with firm tannins and some powdery dustiness on the close. The celebrated Guardiola Vineyard has ancient vines aged 100 to 120 years old at a cool 800 meters in elevation. Only 3,710 bottles of this incredible wine exist.” Drink Date:2023 – 2037
100% Nerello Mascalese
800 m asl