Contrada PC 2019
ABOUT THE VINTAGE
This wine is the fruit of the experience we’ve accumulated over the years in understanding our various parcels of Chardonnay.
Year after year, implementing precision viticulture where varying maturation levels were tracked separately, we began to separate the primary material in various phases of harvest and vinification, even within the same parcel. Our Contrada PC is the result and the clear demonstration of how, even with the same variety and position, Etna provides a range of unique and diverse expressions from angle to angle. Contrada PC comes from a minute parcel of Chardonnay planted on small and laborious terraces between 870 and 950 meters, where the production is naturally limited and the maturation very particular and complex.
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.
Othmar Kiem – Simon Staffler, Falstaff, 94 points
Walter Speller, Jancis Robinson, 17+ points: “Intense straw yellow. Like the Passobianco but amplified and fortified with elegant oak notes. Peach and orange on the palate with the oak supporting the fruit. Concentrated and, at the same time, displaying a certain coolness. Drink 2021-2026”
Eric Guido, Vinous, 92 points: “The 2019 Bianco Contrada Passochianche (PC) opens slowly in the glass, with dusty florals and hints of smoke giving way to a vivid note of fresh slices of Granny Smith apple. It’s savory on the palate with textures like pure silk and a cool-toned freshness and salty mineral core. This leaves nuances of raw almond and hints of green melon while tapering offlightly structured. The 2019 PC is an understated beauty. Drinking Window: 2023 – 2029”