Contrada R 2009

The weather in 2009 had a particular effect on our wines, giving them a greater tension and density than normal. Scattered rains through the end of September, then continual into the middle of October: the rising humidity prompted us to pick earlier than in other year in each of the various vineyards that rise across the northern face of the volcano at the different altitudes. This earlier picking is at the origin of the particularly varietal flavor of the wines: a carnal, pleasantly obscene quality, this indigenous tenor surprising because it’s little known, as nerello mascalese has only been cultivated and made into wine of quality for a short time on Etna. The Passopisciaro wines of 2009 have the stuff of great aging potential, not least for the lovely changes that these aromas will undergo.

We picked in this Contrada between October 25th and November 10th.

Vineyard age: 100 years

Vineyard area: 1.4 hectares

Vineyard density: 8,000 vines per Ha

Vineyard altitude: 1,000 m/3,300 ft a.s.l.

Yield per hectare: 15 Hl/Ha

Fertilization: None

Spraying: Clay, propolis, sulphur, copper, vitamin C

Vinification: Alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats for 15 days

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


“The 2009 Contrada Rampante R comes across as a touch ethereal. Sweet dried fruit, herbs and spices are some of the nuances that emerge from the glass. The Rampante shows off gorgeous inner sweetness but less overt density than some of the other wines in this lineup. Not surprisingly, the Ramapante is the estate’s highest parcel, which accounts for much of its personality. This is an inward, contemplative wine that will require a measure of patience. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2029.”

— Antonio Galloni, Wine Advocate, 93+ points

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Vini Franchetti