Contrada R 2017


At 1,000 meters above sea level, this wine is made from century-old vines growing on a very ancient lava spill with extremely fine granules in our highest vineyard. It is our most rarified and ethereal expression of nerello mascalese.

The heatwaves that hit the mainland of Italy also came to Etna. With no drops in temperature that usually brighten the nights, the long, hot summer lasted until mid-September. We had to add a little water to the vines to help them through. The grapes had ripened steadily and gradually during late summer and, especially, fall. The advanced maturation in the grapes caused the harvest to begin more than a week earlier than usual and all at once, from October 20th to 29th. The nerello mascalese wines of 2017 are strong in body, powerful in structure, with notes of ripe red fruits, blood orange, pomegranate, and camphor.


Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 95 points: “Underbrush, wet stone and camphor aromas meld with whiffs of scorched earth and Mediterranean scrub. The full-bodied, enveloping palate delivers dried Marasca cherry, orange zest, raspberry compote, fennel and flint alongside velvety tannins and lively acidity.”

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 92 points: “Andrea Franchetti’s 2017 Contrada R (from the Contrada Rampante) is the most volcanic and mineral-driven of these single-vineyard expressions. You taste the dusty volcanic soil as if you were holding it in your hands. Delicate berry and blueberry aromas fill in the rear. The wine shows some dryness with powdery tannins and a mid-weight but very compact mouthfeel. Of these wines, I would drink this bottle soonest.”

Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator, 92 points: “Enticing aromas and flavors of crushed mulberry, star anise, fig cake and graphite are set in this compact, medium-bodied red, firmed by gutsy tannins. Fresh and focused, with a lingering finish of herb and mineral notes. Best from 2021 through 2027. Tasted twice, with consistent notes.”

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