Passobianco 2018


2018 was one of the rainiest and most tropical vintages we’ve seen on Etna in the last eight years, especially at the end of the summer. This year, we had to increase the number of times we passed through the vineyards to remove leaves mindfully, avoiding any burning but allowing air to pass through the canopy to mitigate the effects of this wet and humid climate. We countered effects of disease with natural products like clay and propolis as well. With immense effort, we were nonetheless able to harvest and produce a great wine this vintage.


Kerin O’Keefe, Wine Enthusiast, 89 points: “Grown on the slopes of Mount Etna, this linear Chardonnay has subtle aromas of toasted nut, eucalyptus and white stone fruit. Fermented in steel and aged partly in cement and large oak barrels, the racy palate offers yellow apple, roasted almond and lemon notes alongside firm acidity.”

Walter Speller, Jancis Robinson, 17.5 points: “Deep straw yellow. Savoury and minerally and a little iodine, with more than a peppery tingle on teh nose, like smelling lava, but it might be my imagination now running away with me. Certainly intriguing. Opens up very slowly so I would have no qualms about decanting this. Garden herbs. Same slowness on the palate. More orange than lemon and with a long bitter, salty sensation. Stones and orange fruit on the finish. Captivating. Drink 2021-2028.”

Monica Larner, The Wine Advocate, 92 points: “A pure expression of Chardonnay, the Passopisciaro Vini Franchetti 2018 Passobianco is a generous wine with lots of honey, dried apricot and apple baked in butter. Ultimately, this expression from the volcanic soils of Etna stands apart from other great renditions of this versatile grape thanks to those dusty or ashy mineral notes as well as those slightly exotic hints of saffron and ground cumin. It is aged in oak casks and cement for 10 months. The wine’s appearance is golden and bright, and the palate carries generous fruit weight and concentrated flavors. Grapes come from high-density vineyards at an impressive 850 to 1,000 meters in elevation from the terraces of Contrada Guardiola and Monte Dolce. Some 40,000 bottles were made. Drink 2021-2026.”

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