Passopisciaro Contrada R 2018

Old school classic Etna Red
Nerello Mascalese
  • $156.00

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Notes: Blackcurrant Red fruits Rosy floral Crushed stones, mineral Smoky

Body: Medium +

Dryness: Dry

Acidity: Medium

Tannin: Medium

Alcohol (%): 13.5

Origin: Sicily, Italy

Maker: Passopisciaro


  • Nerello Mascalese

Fermentation: Organic Heavy Wood

Awards: >95

Decanting: 30–60 minutes

Asian Food Pairing: Five spice braised beef, peking duck

Western Food Pairing: Grilled black cod, steak


Passopisciaro Contrada R 2018

Passopisciaro Contrada Rampante (R) has a savoury and smoky display of beef jerky, crushed stone and black currants. On the first sip, it has a soft texture with a tinge of mineral and red fruits, accompanied with rosy floral notes, but it gains considerable grip towards the close. Tension builds as later of tannin makes itself known through the finale, with residual acid. Give this at least a few years of cellaring to flesh out and open up.

100% Nerello Mascalese. At 1,000 meters above sea level, this wine is made from century-old vines growing on a very ancient lava spill with extremely fine granules in our highest vineyard. It is our most rarified and ethereal expression of nerello mascalese.

Vinification alcoholic fermentation in stainless steel vats for 15 days and malolactic fermentation in large, neutral oak barrels, then 18 months aging in large, neutral oak barrels.

2018 was one of the rainiest and most tropical vintages seen on Etna in the last eight years, especially at the end of the summer. This year, the team had to increase the number of times they passed through the vineyards to remove leaves mindfully, avoiding any burning but allowing air to pass through the canopy to mitigate the effects of this wet and humid climate. The team also countered effects of disease with natural products like clay and propolis as well.

With the red wines, rain, humid, and sometimes fog are not ideal conditions at the end of the of growing season, but the team, with dedicated effort and the know-hows to work the vineyards, by intervening where needed, in the various Contrade and from the vineyards from which the Passorosso is made.

The wines of this year will be varietally correct, linear, with a pronounced acidity, with the long-lived characteristics that define the finer vintage on Etna.






Fragrant and loaded with finesse, this gorgeous red stuns with captivating scents of pressed rose, violet, red berry, white pepper as well as whiffs of smoke and balsamic notes. Boasting extreme elegance and intensity, the smooth, delicious palate delivers strawberry jelly, raspberry compote, cinnamon and flinty mineral framed in smooth, silky tannins. Made from some of the highest vineyards on Mount Etna and 100-year-old vines, it's endowed with bright acidity that keeps it superbly balanced.

Here's a classic "old school" Etna red. From the Contrada Rampante in Castiglione di Sicilia, the Passopisciaro Vini Franchetti 2018 Contrada R opens to a lean garnet color and light ruby highlights. There is a lot of energy and punchy brightness in this wine, mostly fueled by those distinctive white pepper aromas that come across strongly in this bottle. Carrying a shy 12.5% alcohol content, this red is lean and delicate to the palate, with more spice, ash and savory flavors than fruity tones. In fact, the wine's dark currant and tart berry tones take a back seat in this vintage of 3,240 bottles. Contrada Rampante is located at 1,000 meters altitude, which is the highest elevation allowed in the official appellation (although many vintners are aiming to make wines even higher up the volcano). This estate farms a 1.7-hectare parcel here, and like the other wines in this series, winemaking starts off with a quick fermentation in steel (usually 15 days) and ends with 18 months in oak casks.