Friday Feature – Introducing Routier & The Wines of Passopisciaro

Hello and Happy Friday!

Now that we are all settling into the New Year, it is time to talk tastings!

Beginning Friday, January 25th come to Perman Wine for Routier.

What is Routier?

French for truck stop, Routier is a new concept in wine education.

Every Friday night stop by Perman Wine Selections anytime between 5pm & 8pm and taste a flight of 3 different wines, accompanied by a small bite of cheese. No stuffy lecture, no sales drone.

Each Friday’s flight will be linked by a uniquely curious theme.

Grab your friends and experience a #routier!

More details to come on my website and through the newsletter.

Now back to the Friday Feature:

I am really excited to announce the new releases from one of my favorite wineries in Italy, Passopisciaro. The Etna region where they are located is now no longer an emerging region, it has definitively become one of the great growing regions in all of Italy.

There is a lot of diversity in the region, with producer styles that range from modern, fruit and oak dominated, to funky, oxidative and über natural. In my opinion the best producers of the region are those who aren’t looking for extremes, rather focusing on the purity that the Nerello Mascalese varietal can achieve.

Passopisciaro, owned by the legendary Andrea Franchetti, has really been one of the standard bearers for the region. Franchetti acquired some vineyards on the Northern slopes of Mt. Etna in 2000. His first wine produced in 2005 was simply labeled “Passopisciaro.” Today he has added several single vineyard wines called “contrada’s.” He also makes a great white wine made from 100% Chardonnay. Finally, there is the tiniest of productions, the wine called “Franchetti,” produced from Petit Verdot.

Across the board these are fabulous wines. So without further ado, I present the newest vintages from Passopisciaro! All the quotations below are notes from Franchetti about the differences between the vineyards.

Italian wine fanatics – do not miss these!

Have a great weekend,
Craig & Sheb

The Wines of Passopisciaro

2010 Passopisciaro

One of the wines that in our opinion, but Etna on the wine map.

100% Nerello Mascalese, picked between october 18th and 27th. The average vine age is between 70 and 100 years in age, with yields of 44 hl/ha. Alcoholic fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks, with malolactic fermentation and aging taking place in large oak barrels.

The Passopiscario produces an elegant expression of Nerello Mascalese; dried & macerated cherries, thyme & rosemary, firm but manageable tannins and more than a passing nuance of pumice mineral, a testament to the volcanic soils in which it is grown.

There is a pleasurable ripeness to the 2010 courtesy of an extended growing season and later harvesting.

Rustic ingredients of the Southern Italian provinces come to mind; caciocavallo cheese, braised rabbit and wild boar, and the Mediterranean trifecta (eggplant, peppers, zucchini). A nice, long decant will do wonders for your Passopiscario experience

$34.99 BTL. / $419.88 CASE


2010 Passopisciaro “Contrada Rampante”

“This is a very high, maybe the highest Contrada (above 1000 meters a.s.l.) still cultivated. Steep walled terraces here climb the wall of lava above the town of Solicchiata. It sets to a fraction off dead north, to the east. Dying old vineyards have been saved by newcomers; soils are sandy, paler than in other places, because of a very old, oxidized lava spill. Wines from here can be very pure, a bit like white wines, lithe, lifted and long living. The cru that is harvested latest. We make wine from 1 hectare of vines of Nerello Mascalese that we hold in this Contrada. The plants are 80 years old.”

Yields of 11 hl/ha, 2000 bottles produced.

$51.99 btl./ 5 bottles available


2010 Passopisciaro “Contrada Chiappemacini”

“This is a small Contrada at 600 meter a.s.l., laying under sandstone towers that whip up a cold breeze over thin lavas that barely reach around them. Because some roots here make it to the lime-soil, wines from Chiappemacine have a rich taste that strikes right at the beginning of a sip. We make wine from ½ hectare of vines of Nerello Mascalese that we hold in this Contrada. The plants are 80 years old.”

Yields of 16.5 hl/ha, 2700 bottles produced.

$56.99 btl. / 5 bottles available


2010 Passopisciaro “Contrada Sciaranuova”

“One of the great crus of Mount Etna (the others being Guardiola and Porcaria). Is set at about 850 meters a.s.l., above Passopisciaro Paisty lava comes apart like wet coal in a channel that for most of the winter reaches to the snow and is sun exposed all day. The wines are deep, large-fleshed, and have a rich taste of fermented hay. We make wine from 1 hectare of vines of Nerello Mascalese that we hold in this Contrada. The plants are 80 years old.”

Yields of 15 hl/ha, 2000 bottles produced.

$64.99 btl. / only 5 bottles available


2010 Passopisciaro “Contrada Porcaria”

“Large cru, at the perfect elevation of 750 meters a.s.l. It extends at the doors of Passopisciaro a plane in the air, protruding dead north capturing the longest sunlight until it tumbles south over the mountain. The wines here are lush, their aromas under a constant change. It is dark, well bodied in the mouth, reaching into notes of burnt sugar. We make wine from 1 hectare of vines Nerello Mascalese that we hold in this Contrada. The plants are 80 years old.”

Yields of 15 hl/ha, 2300 bottles produced.

$74.99 btl. / only 1 bottle available

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