Contrada P 2019
ABOUT THE VINTAGE
Contrada Porcaria is a micro zone of a vast district located at about 650 meters above sea level, considered one of the most coveted terroir on Etna because of the particularly rich and luxurious wines it produces; it changes aromas continuously, and has an exotic body and an echo of burnt sugar. The land is composed of a thin layer of lava that crumbles under the feet. The vineyard of this Contrada covers 1.5 hectares.
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++ points: “Lustrous and just mid ruby. Deeper nose than the Contrada C with perfumed concentrated raspberry and hints of crushed black pepper and stones. Racy acidity cleaves through savoury-sweet raspberry fruit. Very firm but polished tannic spine ending in a chewy raspberry fruit finish. Firm structure. Drink 2022-2028.”
Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 94 points: “Aromas of Mediterranean scrub, eucalyptus, smoky flint and wild berries mingle with dark spice. On the full-bodied palate, bright acidity lifts raspberry compote, licorice, slate and blood orange. Taut, polished tannins provide support while the warmth of alcohol lingers on the close.”
Bibenda, 5 Grappoli
Eric Guido, Vinous, 93 points: “A dusty and inviting mix of dried roses and cherries is contrasted by hints of ash and smoke as the 2019 Contrada Porcaria (P) blossoms in the glass. This is undeniably elegant in feel, with velvety textures that coast across its medium-bodied frame, delivering mineral-tinged red berries and sweet herbal tones that arch across the palate. It’s lightly structured with grippy tannins that tug at the cheeks, yet the mouth is left watering for more, as hints of pomegranate and plum slowly fade. The Porcaria vineyard stands at 650 meters, with soils that are described by Passopisciaro as, “A frail sheet of lava that splinters under one’s feet.” Give this beauty another year of cellaring to come fully into focus. Drinking Window: 2023 – 2029”
Monica Larner, Robertparker.com, 94points: With fruit from 80-year-old vines in the Contrada Porcaria, the Vini Franchetti 2019 Contrada P shows more concentration and fruit weight compared to some of the other wines in this series of single-vineyard wines. Blackcurrant and dried cherry segue to cola, spice and some lingering balsam herb. The tannins are also tighter here, and this wine has more power and extract all around. Only 3,744 bottles were made. Drink Date:2023 – 2037
100% Nerello Mascalese
2,100 feet (650 meters)