ABOUT THE VINTAGE
Franchetti is a unique blend of Petit Verdot and Cesanese d’Affile; it is grown in contrada Guardiola at 820 meters above sea level. The winemaker’s interpretation of a full bodied wine on Etna. The result is a wine of great concentration, as black as lava and volcanic smoke that flow from Etna.
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.
Othmar Kiem – Simon Staffler, Falstaff, 96 points
820 m asl (2,700 feet)