Passopisciaro Franchetti 2019

Non-Member Price: 

$207.95 CAD

95 points - Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2023

With 4,116 bottles released, the 2019 Franchetti is 97% Petit Verdot that is accented with 3% Cesanese d'Affile (a native grape found primarily in Lazio or central Italy). This might not be to everyone's taste, but I love the elegance, dark concentration and aromatic intensity of this very unusual and courageous wine (I mean, who plants Cesanese on Etna?). It is extracted and inky with black fruit and etched end notes of pencil shaving and crushed white pepper corn. The vines are planted at 800 to 900 meters in elevation and are about 20 years old.

Andrea Franchetti died the night of December 5, 2021, at 72 years old. He left an enormous void in the wine communities of both Tuscany and Etna, the two regions where he best performed his craft as one of Italy's most dynamic winemakers. He leaves those who knew him with many fond memories. One thing I will especially miss are his detailed vintage reports that he sent each year with his wines. I was given his impressions of the 2019 and 2020 vintages posthumously, and I decided to transcribe them here in full as a way of paying homage to one of the founding fathers of the Etna wine scene. (The translation from Italian to English is mine, but the words are Franchetti's):

The 2019 vintage
"This was a late vintage on Etna characterized by a very cold spring in the months of April and May with a timid frost on the 6th and 7th of May. That cold spell, which never broke, continued until the end of May, causing a significant delay in the flowering that lasted until mid-June. At the beginning of June, we finally noted a gradual and constant increase in temperatures that favored flowering and fruit set with looser clusters. At the end of June, we saw hot temperatures, with peaks that hit near 40 degrees Celsius, which continued until the end of September and helped to compensate for the ripening delays we saw previously and which allowed us to drop fruit by August 10th. Heading into the month of October, thanks to a bigger diurnal temperature shift that coincided with the first quarter rising moon, we jumped forward in terms of phenolic ripening of the grapes. We foresee wines that are not too alcoholic, showing the right balance and with silky fruit that is fresh and vertical. These characteristics are due to perfect timing between technical and phenolic ripeness. This is a quality vintage because we were spared the hateful interference of more rainfall."

The 2020 vintage
"Summer 2020 saw a lot of rain and poor weather generally. At the end of July, the heat returned, until the rain came again on August 10th and again in September. Much later, after the vats of white wine finished fermenting and everyone went to the beach bathed in sunshine under the majestic mountain, more rain came with a bit of hail, and a wind from the north blew during the whole night. By October 1st, cold temperatures descended on all the towns and villages. For about one month, the skies were clear, and by the 14th of October, the red fruit began to ripen. The first grapes to come in were Cesanese d'Affile, a variety that was sensitive to those mid-October conditions. On the 24th of October, after tasting the fruit in the vineyards, we achieved ripeness with the Petit Verdot as well. Those grapes produced aromas of exotic spice with a mix of red crunchy fruit, reaching maximum balance in the mouth by October 26th. That's when we needed to call in more harvesters from the nearby villages because we couldn't miss that little window."
- Monica Larner

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From cellar-to-cellar, or cellar to shelf, we maintain the highest standards, thanks to close relationships with the finest producers of wine across the globe, ensuring authenticity.


We maintain strict, direct, temperature- controlled delivery from the cellar to the customer, guaranteeing the integrity of each vintage’s character and flavor profile.

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