Contrada G 2021


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.

2021 vintage on the northern side of Mount Etna can be defined as “bizarre”.

Between November and December 2020 we had some rains, even copious in some moments, which brought a discreet water reserve to the plants, especially in the vineyards facing east. This was great for the new vineyard in Contrada Montedolce planted during 2020 Spring.

Starting into the new year, there was a thermic swing between early January and mid-February with rains and even some snow that barely reached the highest vineyards (800/1000 m.) and then an odd heat until the end of February and the beginning of March.

Spring surprises us with low temperatures until the end of May, making me “dream” of the seasonal regularity of past years.

But it’s only a dream!

Suddenly, with the arrival of June, Summer arrives.

The vines, that were a bit late, explode now filling the valley and its splendid terraces with emerald green, going with rhythm towards flowering and fruit set. What a joy!!

Heat, heat and more heat lead us to manage the foliage like haute couture and to support the plants with generous irrigation at night. We don’t need to water the old and centuries-old Nerello Mascalese vines that are able to draw lifeblood from their complex and deep root system.

Fiery sunrises and sunsets follow one another, catching the winegrower’s attention! Suddenly, the Chardonnay grapes were ready to be harvested after August 15th, we promptly started bringing to the cellar perfect and fragrant grapes, these grapes will produce a more intense and fragrant wine.

We were waiting for the temperature drop and the moderate rains at the beginning of September and they finally arrived, allowing us to start red grapes harvest just before mid-October. Days of blue skies, cool and crystalline nights help us to carry out the several harvests of the red grape varieties with our usual style, thus creating red wines of perfect ripeness and good balance.


James Button, Decanter, 96 points: Contrada Guardiola is situated between 800 and 1.000m above sea level at the edge of teh 1947 lava flow. 4.500 bottles produced. Smoky, floral and red-fruited, with some earthy depth and blasamic lift, this super-elegant, sapid and succulent in the mouth, showing bright and ripe red cherry and strawberry at the core, enveloped by wood, a hint of creaminess, and an intense stony character. poised, fresh and beautifully balanced fiven its 15% abv, the tightly packed, fine-grained tannins lend structure for ageing. Long.

Jamessuckling.comJames Suckling, 96points: This is very sophisticated with sliced strawberries, roses and other flowers, but explosive on the palate with racy and intense tannins that run the length of the wine. Chewy at the end. Orange peel. Negroni undertones. Needs three or four years to come around.

Eric Guido, Vinous, 96+ points: The prestige of Guardiola shines bright as the 2021 Contrada (G) opens in the glass. This is dark and intense, with a vivid burst of black raspberry complicated by ashen stones, earth tones, sage and mint. It’s elegant, with velvety textures yet a lifted feel. It opens with saline minerals that saturate as tart wild berries and hints of exotic citrus swirl throughout. It’s only through the finish that the 2021’s tannic heft comes forward, aggressive and mouthcoating, yet still allowing a dense core of red fruit to linger on. The combination of primary components here is otherworldly, yet it will be many years before this comes entirely into balance. The 2021 Guardiola is not to be missed.

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Vini Franchetti