Etna Rosso Passorosso Passopisciaro 2015 review and tasting notes
Andrea Franchetti is one of our favorite Etna winemakers, a true shepherd of vines, which climb up to 700-100 meters on the slopes of the Sicilian volcano.
He is, first of all, a man in love with this scorched earth (almost a lunar desert). But above all, he knows how to give wines of unique finesse and depth. And the Etna Rosso ‘Passorosso’ Passopisciaro 2015, although young, already shows qualities that make it a great wine.
Obviously, we are talking about a Nerello Mascalese, at least 70 years old vines, planted with sapling between the various terraces that open out like a fan on the slopes of the volcano.
There are no organic or biodynamic certifications. However, the philosophy of the Passopisciaro winery is based on respect for nature. Every synthetic product has been banned in the vineyard, and only sulfur is used.
But let’s come to this splendid Etna Rosso ‘Passorosso’ Passopisciaro 2015, an example of how the times of the heavy and burnt wines of Etna of yesteryear, an old story, are long gone. This Nerello is sunny, structured but focuses on flavor and finesse, not on a hypertrophic and redundant fruit.
Indeed, the word redundant does not exist in the Passorosso vocabulary. Here every bit of salt, every memory of rocks and almonds is pungent, sharp, but first of all, well blended into a full-bodied, but dry to the bone.
Even the color is already a sign of great finesse and subtle charm. It is not super dark or inked, but intense and crystalline, with a transparent edge.
The processing of this wine is impeccable: the grapes are harvested in several crus, scattered between 700 and 1000 meters above sea level, each with unique characteristics, with layers of lava of various ages and then there is this climate. Ventilated with a significant temperature range helps develop acidity and aromaticity in the bunches. After the harvest, fermentation for 15 days and then aging for 2 years in large wooden barrels. It almost seems to read the description of a Barolo …
But we don’t want to compare other vines, other completely different terroirs, but one thing is crystal clear: Etna’s Nerello Mascalese deserves all your attention and should enjoy the same fame as Barolo. It is clear and the time is ripe to crown Nerello the king of Sicily and a great Italian grape variety like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Aglianico.
The bouquet of Etna Rosso ‘Passorosso’ Passopisciaro 2015
Nuanced and subtle nose with austere fruit, undergrowth, abundant balsamic tones such as eucalyptus, mint, licorice, very delicate spices and rocks. The mineral tone is bright, enveloping and structures the whole nose, showing infinite scents of earth and rocks. In the finish, you can smell flowers, small berries and Mediterranean scrub. Remarkable persistence.
The taste of Etna Rosso ‘Passorosso’ Passopisciaro 2015
It is broad, structured, but designed with grace in the mouth. The fruit is austere and pungent, already ethereal. The whole sip is furrowed with marine flavor and these incredible balsamic flavors. These balsamic shades are the distinctive trait, genuinely unique.
The tannins are decisive but well designed, the dialogue between flavor, freshness and warmth is calm, everything proceeds with great naturalness. But do you know why we dare to crown it great wine? It is the length of the sip, as soon as you bring it to your lips you open your mouth, you would like more, it has a great personality, but an absurd drinkability, despite being still young.
Drunk today, the 2015 vintage is indeed young, biting, but these are all virtues that bode well for an even more fascinating evolution. A wine to be tasted again in 5-10-15 years: it will have a new story to tell each time.
Price of Etna Rosso ‘Passorosso’ Passopisciaro 2015
22-25: an honest price for a great Italian red wine.