Passopisciaro Rosso 2012

2012 was a hot and dry year, with no rain from May to October – one of the warmest summers we’ve had on Etna. At the beginning of October we started tasting the grapes in the vineyards, but everything was quite unripe. The sugar was high while the acidity was low, and yet the plants were highly stressed to the point that the grapes were almost raisinated on the vine. All of the other winemakers harvested early as a result, but we felt the grapes’ pH was still too low and the alcohol too high to follow suite, instead irrigating and waiting for the grapes to mature properly. We risked losing the harvest, but finally the rains came. After just two days, the components – sugars and acidity – came into balance, and so we harvested very quickly. Fortunately, nerello mascalese is a strong vine, and even in the worst years it can be revived

The wine is both sharp and tight, as befits the young nerello made from the higher areas of Etna; strong and standing in body because of the prolonged season and complete maturation this year. An exceptional year that will be remembered as one of the best on Etna. The year 2012 will age for a long time and should be served now at cool temperature like a white wine.

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: 45,000 bottles


“Aromas of red berry, brimstone, white pepper, Mediterranean herb and a whiff of leather come together in the glass. The creamy palate offers wild strawberry, juicy cherry, cinnamon and savory herb alongside bright acidity and firm, polished tannins. It’s vibrant, with compelling tension. Drink 2015–2022.”

— Wine Enthusiast, 92 points

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Vini Franchetti