Contrada PC 2018
ABOUT THE VINTAGE
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 immense effort, we were nonetheless able to harvest and produce a great wine this vintage; keeping this one remarkable parcel separate, we decided to bottle it as a single vineyard cru for the first time.
Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 93 points: “Delicate but enticing aromas of ripe pear, Spanish broom and toasted nut mingle with Mediterranean brush and balsamic whiffs of camphor on this precise, elegant white. Made with Chardonnay fermented and aged in large oak barrels, the dry, vibrant palate boasts a focused finesse, delivering golden apple, unsweetened lemon drop and white almond alongside bright acidity. Saline mineral notes backup the finish.”
Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 93+ points: “Here’s an exciting new wine from Etna’s great Tuscan interloper, Andrea Franchetti. His Passopisciaro Vini Franchetti 2018 Contrada PC is an IGT Terre Siciliane wine, much like many of the others in this portfolio, only this time we are faced with a pure expression of Chardonnay made after many years of experience and experimentation with this grape on volcanic soils. This pretty wine reveals a light golden color with medium color saturation. The bouquet is rich and generous with candied fruit, honey, apricot, cumin and a pinch of sweet cinnamon spice. This verges on being an all-out full-bodied wine (thanks to 10 months’ aging in oak casks on the fine lees), but it holds back just a bit thanks to an elegant and more slender mid-palate. This release of 2,660 bottles represents a nuanced, age-worthy white, the product of arduous labor from steep, terraced vineyards in the Contrada PC (Passochianche) at 870 to 950 meters in elevation. Drink 2021-2028.”
Eric Guido, Vinous, 91 points: “The 2018 Contrada Passochianche (PC) opens up slowly, both rich and fresh, offering notes of crushed hazelnuts, smoke, hints of custard and raw honey evolving into ripe yellow apple and sweet nuanced florals. This is silky and pliant, balanced by brisk acids and tart stone fruits, while salty minerals and hints of almond add further savory depths. Its concentration and persistence are admirable, as the Passochianche seems to slowly melt away from the palate, leaving a sense of structure along with hints of candied citrus. This is the first rendition of the PC, a single-vineyard Chardonnay that is fermented in neutral 20-hectoliter barrels and then spends six months refining on the lees. Drinking Window: 2021 – 2026”