Passopisciaro Rosso 2011

Mount Etna had two lighter years, ‘09 and ’10 that produced some fine and elegant wines, able to represent the gentle sophistication that grapes growing on the north side of the mountain can transmit to wine. Instead, 2011 is what one calls a great vintage. Late rains and long season made it possible for growers to pick grapes that were able to convey extraordinary richness to the wines in every Contrada of the mountain. This is not, however, the overwhelming kind of vintage where massiveness chokes out some of the finer features of its wines. There is in this vintage a measured and hard structure that contains and will elevate the growing richness of 2011.

This wine is 100% nerello mascalese picked between October 24th and November 5th in the contradas of Arcuria, Malpasso, Favazza, Guardiola and Feudo di Mezzo.

Vineyard age: 70-100 years

Vineyard density: 8,000 vines/Ha

Vineyard altitude: 500-1,100 m asl

Yield per hectare: 42 Hl/Ha

Fertilization: None

Spraying: Propolis, vitamin C, copper, sulphur

Vinification: Alcoholic fermentation for 15 days in steel vats

Aging: Malolactic fermentation 18 months in large oak barrels

Production: 31,000 bottles


“Bright red. Captivating, extremely intense aromas of flinty red cherry and raspberry, lifted by violet and mineral notes. Sappy, floral fruit shows lovely sweetness and energy thanks to well-integrated acidity and spicy mineral lift. Dense, chewy and saline on the brisk finish, featuring youthful, building tannins. Made from vines between 75 and 100 years of age, this is a star in the making–a truly great Passopisciaro and the best wine in this year’s releases of Sicilian wines from the talented Andrea Franchetti.”

— Ian D’Agata, Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, 92+ points

“The 2011 Passopisciaro is Nerello Mascalese aged in large oak casks for 18 months. It shows soft spice and good tannin management with evolved aromas of pressed fruit, ash and smoked bacon. The mouthfeel is streamlined, fresh and elegant. Drink 2015-2025.”

— Monica Larner, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, 90 points

“Nerello Mascalese blend from all their vineyards. Just mid ruby. Heady but typical spicy Nerello nose. Quite intense, while the palate is much more restraint with lifted acidity and fine grainy texture. Very fresh and long finish.”

— Jancis Robinson

“Light tannins frame this well-knit, balanced red. The subtle flavors of ripe cherry, tobacco, anise and sous-bois are lightly juicy, lingering on the refined finish. Nerello Mascalese. Drink now through 2019.”

— Wine Spectator

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