2016 Passopisciaro Passorosso (750ml)

Nerello Mascalese from Etna, Sicily, Italy

B-21 Top Recommendation
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Have to admire Andrea Franchetti and what he's done in Sicily. A guy makes a stunning super-Tuscan from scratch, Tenuta de Trinoro and then climbs Mt. Etna to rediscover its lost glory. Like this elegant and aromatic 2016 squeezed from nerello mascalese. New grape to most but it's been in Sicily for centuries and is very sexy, pinot noir doing a tarantella. Franchetti, one of the most passionate winemakers anywhere, does it by using the old rules – following the fisherman's path around the volcano, if you will. He found great old vines from the four grand contrada, original premier crus of Sicily. Truly noble, these wines. Nerello features prominently in his vineyard blend (the most exciting 91-point wine a frugal adventurer will find under $30) and shines stunningly in the single-contradas. I love saying Passopisciaro as much as drinking it. Must be six or more syllables yet they roll so easy off the tongue, a delicious mouthful. I also like the idea of wandering that path (almost got up there on my last trip) to the treasure at the end. Glad Andrea showed us the way.


The 2016 Etna Rosso Passorosso is the most accessible of the red wines presented by Andrea Franchetti and the team at Passopisciaro in the not-always-easy 2016 vintage. The wine is clean and forthcoming with a nice succession of wild berry and cassis, all framed by spice, tar and toasted aniseed. This wine makes itself immediately available for a pairing with roasted porchetta stuffed with fennel and herbs. The mouthfeel is crisp but compact on the close. Some 47,000 bottles were made.

91 points, Monica Larner, Wine Advocate (Issue # 240 - Dec 2018)

Woodland berry, smoke, wild rose and Mediterranean scrub lead the way on this vibrant red. Racy and succulent, the savory, focused palate delivers juicy strawberry, red cherry, star anise and chopped herb alongside polished tannins and bright acidity. A saline note gives it a tangy finish. Drink 2020–2026.

91 points, Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (Dec 2018)

This light- to medium-bodied red shows fine balance, with bright ripe cherry fruit, orange zest and tea leaf flavors. A subtle streak of tarry mineral gains momentum on the chewy finish. Drink now through 2026. 3,917 cases made.

90 points, Alison Napjus, Wine Spectator (Feb 2019)


18 bottles in stock. Ships in 1 to 2 business days.

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