Throughout Italy, 2013 was a cold and delayed vintage, and Etna was no exception. The 2013 Franchetti is an intensely fruit-driven wine, the result of well-inspired winemaking after an overall cool year. It was difficult to get the grapes fully ripe, so the musts were very acidic when we received them in the winery.
The grapes of Franchetti, 100% petit verdot this year, were harvested at the beginning of November during a week when the northern face of the volcano had received an impressive amount of sun. The warmer weather came late in the season so the grapes remained small and hard, but healthy. We left them to ferment with a certain amount on the stems to enliven the musts and balance the acidity; this gave the wine a good vein of velvety tannins.
The skins were difficult to work, but by the end of fermentation the wine was dark, thick, and intense. We racked the wine into new barriques and left them on their lees, which tempered the acidic structure of the vintage and gave the wine a richness.
Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 94 points: “This wine is usually a blend of Petit Verdot and Cesanese d’Affile (a red grape from Central Italy). But the 2013 Franchetti is declared as 100% Petit Verdot. In fact, Franchetti was made as a mono-varietal expression only in 2006, 2010 and now with this 2013 vintage. The bouquet here is beautiful and generous with thick layers of black fruit and spice that peel back very slowly. The wine sports an inky black and impenetrable appearance with a thick, chewy consistency. The quality of fruit is slightly jammy but those drying volcanic and mineral tones bring the wine back to center and balance.”
Ian D’Agata, Vinous Media, 92 points: “Inky ruby. Superripe aromas and flavors of black cherry syrup, red cherry jam, chocolate and minerals. Spicy, peppery tannins and bright acidity provide plenty of backbone to this opulent, ultra-suave wine, which tastes like it was made with air-dried grapes. Extremely long on the finish, closing with a strong note of sweet pipe tobacco and a hint of volcanic ash. In fact, the smoky note was so evident that I couldn’t help thinking that this is what it must be like to drink a cigar. (Drinking 2017-2027)”
3,000 bottles/250 cases