Passopisciaro Passobianco 2016
'Instead of the indigenous Carricante, which grows on the eastern side of the volcano, Passobianco is made of 100% Chardonnay. When Franchetti arrived on Mt. Etna, he planted 4 hectares of the grape on steep terraces between 850 and 1,000 meters in the contrada of Guardiola, in very loose, deep, powder-like lava that is high in minerals.
Its complexities bring together the specific light, drastic changes in temperature, altitude, and volcanic influences of Etna, and the choice of Chardonnay was meant to allow these influences to meld and evolve over time as the white ages, inspired by the aging potential of the great whites of Burgundy. The harvest is quite fussy, as we pick little portions of the vineyard every day, tasting the berries trailing along the terraces day after day, harvesting only when each individual cluster is ripe. The resulting wine is rich yet fresh, bright yet layered. The first vintage was in 2007, and beginning with the 2014 vintage, we've decided to let the wine pass two years in bottle at the winery before release.
2016 on Mt. Etna was an excellent, even-ripening vintage, with the picking of the whites at the start of September. The wine is citrusy and fruit-forward now, with its hints of pear and honey that will come out with further aging, with the high acidity and lovely mineral underpinning that comes from this special place in which the vines are grown. Passobianco is characterized by its consistency, precision, and freshness, and it will continue to evolve in bottle over time.'
- Vini Franchetti