2017 Passopisciaro Scinniri Rosso
2017 Passopisciaro Scinniri Rosso Aromas of ripe wild berry and Mediterranean scrub alongside a whiff of eucalyptus take shape in the glass surrounds this 2017. Juicy and smooth, the palate offers crushed raspberry, strawberry compote, licorice and notes of exotic incense framed in taut, fine-grained tannins. A tangy mineral note gives the finish tension.
Before Andrea Franchetti visited Sicily in 2000, Mt. Etna’s profession winegrowing community had all but disbanded over the period between WWII and 1981. Commercial-scale viticulture could not overcome the cost of growing grapes in such an extreme terrain and climate, and the major 1981 and 1991/1992 eruptions of Mt. Etna were the ultimate disincentive to struggling growers from investing even further. However some vines of Carricante and Nerello Mascalese did remain viable on the terraces of Etna, even going back before 1900. Franchetti approached an owner of one neglected vineyard, and the owner settled for 1/5th his original asking price just to be rid of the property once-and-for-all.
Passopisciaro’s Nerello Mascalese fruit produces an aromatic, lightly red-hued wine with wide and progressively-clear halo. This coloring is the result of Franchetti’s choice to avoid deep extraction from the skins, but relying on the berry’s juice to provide much of the coloring. The wines develop a sweet smokiness over time and age well in bottle up to and beyond eight years.
Andrea Franchetti works with two very different vineyard projects. Franchetti created his first estate Tenuta di Trinoro from scratch, on rough farm and woodland in the far-flung reaches of southwest Tuscany. Though a significant challenge, this was equaled by his endeavor on the slopes of Mt. Etna, which involved the renaissance of reclaimed formerly abandoned terraces of vines upon Sicily’s live volcano.
Both sites are extraordinary, complex, and poles apart in terms of terroir. From both his Tuscan and Sicilian estates, Franchetti has produced a portfolio of wines that is rich and diverse. Each wine expresses the characteristics of the vintage, the particulars of the locations, and the fullest potential of the varieties.