2011 was the best vintage on the mountain since 2006. This was because of the especially speedy growing season that ripened grapes before the rains started falling, after November 5th, and made it possible for the wines to turn out plump, rich, and undiluted.
We harvested the cesanese in three rounds from October 28th to November 1st, filling two out of three tanks with uniquely profound and flowery liquids; the petit verdot came in with five different pickings at the beginning of November that we launched around the ideal ripening point: four tanks ran really good wine.
After some trials this 50/50 mixture of cesanese and petit verdot was the best interpretation of the vintage; it has subterranean, intimate quality that comes from properly aged vines. That is the real surprise of this vintage. The wine is showing a night-like blackness and a mysterious depth that will make it enchanting for years.
Vineyard age: 11 years
Vineyard area: 2 hectares
Vineyard density: 12,300 vines/Ha
Vineyard altitude: 1,000 m asl
Yield per hectare: 23 Hl/Ha
Spraying: Propolis, grapefruit seed extract, sulphur, lime
Vinification: Fermentation in 30hl steel vats for 14 days
Aging: 6 months in new French oak barriques and 14 months in large cement vessels
Production: 3,000 bottles
“Deep purple-red. Exotic, almost liqueur-like aromas of strawberry, red cherry liqueur, smoked meat and sweet herbs. Enters the mouth sweet and creamy, showing just enough energy to give shape to the exotic middle palate, then turns slightly more austere at the back. Finishes broad and long, with sweet, youthfully chewy tannins and lingering nuances of red cherry and spicy red berries. Only Andrea Franchetti could make such a great wine on Etna by using cesanese d’Affile, one of Italy’s best if least-known red grapes but a notoriously late ripener (a native of Lazio, it rarely manages to achieve full ripeness in cooler vintages).”
— Ian D’Agata, Vinous Media, 92+ points
“You might never peg the 2011 Franchetti as a wine made on Etna. But if you are familiar with Andrea Franchetti’s work, there is no mistaking his signature winemaking style. A blend of 50% Petit Verdot and 50% Cesanese d’Affile (a grape found mostly in the Lazio region), this beast of a wine packs a powerful punch. The concentration and ripeness of flavors are extreme and the wine is soft and jammy down to the last delicious drop. Its over-the-top, but in an irresistible way. Syrupy blackberry and prune fold into leather and exotic spice. The fleshy mouthfeel sports noticeable residual sugar. Drink 2016-2026.”
— Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate, 94 points
“The 2011 Franchetti is composed of 50% Cesanese and 50% Petit Verdot grapes growing at 1000 meters on the north side on Mount Etna. The wine displays a concentrated dark inky color with aromas of blackberries, exotic spices, chocolate and dusty minerals. This well structured wine possesses wonderful depth and power, yet remains focused and balanced by a gorgeous vibrant layer of underlying acidity. Andrea Franchetti aged the wine 6 months in new French oak barriques and 14 months in large cement vessels. Overall, this is a sensational wine, but will certainly require some bottle age before it hits full stride. (Best 2018-2030)”
— Joe D’Angelo, International Wine Report, 94 points