Contrada P 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 18th and 20th. This wine is huge, very dark, tarry, more mouth-filling than were the last two vintages. It is less like a nerello, not a midpalate wine, more akin to a nebbiolo. This vintage it has been overshadowed by the Guardiola cru in its depth; nonetheless it remains a quarterback, a mainstay among Franchetti’s wines. It’s a true reflection of agriculture.

Vineyard age: 80 years

Vineyard area: 1.5 hectare

Vineyard density: 8,000 vines/Ha

Vineyard altitude: 650 m asl

Yield per hectare: 13 Hl/Ha

Fertilization: None

Spraying: Propolis, clay, grapefruit seed extract, sulphur, copper

Vinification: Alcoholic fermentation on the skins in stainless steel vats for 10 days

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

Bottling: waning moon of June 2014

Production: 2,000 bottles

REVIEWS

“The 2012 Contrada P is my favorite wine among Andrea Franchetti’s batch of new single-vineyard releases. This is a spectacular expression of Nerello Mascalese (aged in large oak casks for 18 months) that speaks in a loud, clear and beautifully melodious voice. Contrada Porcaria sees 80-year-old vines planted at 600 to 700 meters above sea level. The soils consist of thin layers of lava deposit and sandy ash. The mineral definition here is excellent thanks to flinty tones of crushed granite and pencil shaving. But there is a good amount of soft fruit as well, especially Morello cherry, dried blackberry and cassis. This wine spoke to me. I loved its vigor, personality and polished feel. (Drink: 2015 – 2030)”

— Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, 95 points

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Vini Franchetti