Contrada R 2019
ABOUT THE VINTAGE
Contrada Rampante is the highest Contrada located over 1,000m high. The vineyard is located at the limits of vine cultivation on Etna. The extension is 1.7 hectares. Contrada R is one of the most delicate and aromatic wines that can be found on the slopes of the volcano. The soils are very old lava, sandier and more oxidized than other parts. Because of its remarkable height it is always the last vineyard to be harvested.
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.
Gambero Rosso, Tre Bicchieri
Walter Speller, Jancis Robinson, 17+ points: “Mid ruby. Brooding and hinting at ripe red fruit with iodine notes, oatmeal and still embryonic. Richly tannic racy raspberry fruit. Very long, juicy and energetic, tannic and perfumed. Great long-lasting tannic bite on the finish. Drink 2022-2030.”
Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 97 points: “Smoky flint, dark spice, blue flower and forest berry aromas come to the forefront along with a whiff of hay. Racy and loaded with mineral tension, the elegant, structured palate delivers crushed raspberry, pomegranate, licorice and ground clove before an almost salty mineral finish. Taut, refined tannins and fresh acidity provide the framework. Drink 2027–2032.”
100% Nerello Mascalese
1,000 m asl (3,300 feet)