Fantastic right now ! Just the rigth amount of evoltion aromas, classy texture (tannins are now resolved). Still great acidity on the finish. Length, Power and finesse united. One of the best wines of the year for me.
Cowhorn, Rhys, some Italians, ++ (Pronzo's): Drinking very well and still very young. I had hoped for a bit more from this in terms of development, so perhaps it needs more time. Nice cherries on the nose with a bit of floral notes. Juicy acidity. On the palate, cherries that fill up the palate, but not layering at all. Nice long finish. It is a very good wine that was the victim of higher expectations. There were still a couple of glasses left (probably more than any other bottle), so I will see how it is later today.
Pure, mature, berry driven with a warm but nevertheless restrained kiss of sunshine. Excellent! Light red with some bricking. Large nose with blood-oranges dominating the fruit-dominated palette. On the palate this enters with excellent red berries, purity and the M++ zesty acids shine through almost immediately. Mid-palate shows off the aforementioned mellow kiss of sunshine. The beautiful maturity in this wine elegant and soft spoken. Tannins are fine grained M+ with small bitterness which give fine stability to the endgame. If I may wish for something, I'd wish they had brought this wine up with some oak. That would have been an amazing way to balance the acids just a bit and to give this wine some more oomph. A hint of Brett would also have come in handy. Our last btl, pretty well timed. This will definitely live for more years, but not walking up the mountain much more. Absolutely married the pork liver terrine. Wife less impressed with 86p. At Le Message (Yokohama).
Light cherry red color. Medium bodied, candied cranberry and cherry compote fruit. Little experience with this varietal,riper and fruitier than we were expecting. Nice lively acidity on finish. Fresh, and juicy, drinking really well tonight.
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This winery was the revelation of Antonio Galloni's WA report last week and the accolades are more than justified. If you can imagine a cross between Frank Cornellissen (of Mt. Etna fame) and Tenuta di Trinoro, it would be Passopisciaro - one of the most important new projects in southern Europe for quite some time.
This project is the dream of Andrea Franchetti (Trinoro) and he came to Sicily (and eventually Mt. Etna - right next to Cornellissen) for a chance at the wild west - at untamed and unknown terroir that he was convinced would produce some of the most profound wine in all of Europe. His home estate of Tenuta di Trinoro was already one of the most decorated in Italy so there was no need for him to make his name - this was about one thing: passion.
While he originally intended to produce a Sicilian version of Trinoro (with Bordeaux varietals),to his credit, Franchetti was willing to experiment with grapes before he made his decision as to the make-up of the flagship cuvees. One thing he did not expect was the stronghold Sicilian varietals had on the local culture and on the terroir itself - there was something about Nerello Mascalese that soaked up the volcanic composition of Etna better than any other grape he experimented with and he should have known - the grapes had thrived on the flanks of Etna for almost 100 years undisturbed and undeterred - the rootstock was original and they were like prized fighters unwilling to go down to any blow. When he planted new varietals into the same soil (Cabernet, et al) they did quite well because of the climate but they didn't have the complete package of the indigenous grapes and especially the the yin/yang of the old-vine Nerello Mascalese that was already on the property. He came to Sicily with a Bordelaise inspiration but the local grapes changed his mind. The Passopisciaro "Passopisciaro" is the result.
As far as his flagship white wine, the "Guardiola", you will have to taste it for yourself but it is a world-class effort, unlike anything else produced from Chardonnay - it is a wine he is very proud of and justifiably so.
All are EXTREMELY LIMITED - all have impeccable provenance directly from the source:
2008 Passopisciaro "Guardiola" This is an amazing white wine - period. It is tank/cement raised like a Saumur-Champigny but it has the uncanny volcanic terroir of Mt. Etna in tow - it is almost impossible to describe. What sets the Guardiola apart from something like Frank Cornellissen is that this is actually wine - in fact it is aristocratic and of the very highest order but it also has a sneaky bit of eccentricity wired with the electricity of its persona. From nearly 100% Chardonnay (with "unknown" local grapes to complete the rainbow of flavor), 2008 was a great vintage on Etna (unlike 2007) and the Guardiola took full advantage. Franchetti certainly likes his 2007 Guardiola but the 2008? It makes his eyes spin. If you are a fan of terroir vintages of Corton-Charlemagne and have no problem mixing them in a blender with a bottle with 2005 Clos Rougeard blanc, a mÄlange of white fruit and a dash of citrus rind coated in volcanic ash, this is your wine.
2006 Passopisciaro "Passopisciaro" 1.5lt (This wine should be quite collectable in the years to come and the 2006 is probably the last vintage a magnum will be available under $100 - pricing is headed toward Trinoro levels so take note):
2006 Passopisciaro "Passopisciaro" 3.0lt (VERY RARE - only six 3.0's for the entire US - completely hand made from the best lots of the vintage)
Jon Rimmerman Garagiste Seattle, WA
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