Passopisciaro Contrada Guardiola 2018
Rose, underbrush and red-berry aromas shape the alluring nose along with whiffs of new leather and menthol. Smooth and delicious, the mouthwatering palate boasts a compelling combination of roundness, energy, depth and precision, delivering juicy red cherry, crushed raspberry, star anise and wild thyme. Racy acidity and elegant tannins lend balance and finesse while a tangy mineral note suggesting wet stone lingers on the close. Drink through 2028.
A release of 3,860 bottles, the Passopisciaro Vini Franchetti 2018 Contrada G draws its Nerello Mascalese from the Guardiola vineyard, located in the village of Castiglione di Sicilia, with vines at 800 meters in elevation. This site is walled off by a much newer lava flow that formed in 1947, but it stopped before damaging the ancient vines. The wine is lean and streamlined with a mild and pretty bouquet focused on wild berry, rose potpourri, ash and hints of tarry spice and smoke. Some dustings of white pepper also appear. Its polished tannins are fully integrated into the wine's light texture. You might enjoy it with a Sicilian minestra with lentils.
The 2018 Contrada Guardiola, or simply "G," seduces with a perfumed display of fresh roses, violets and geraniums; notes of dried strawberries and hints of smoke emerge in the glass. It's like pure silk on the palate, matched by a vivid display of cherries and purple-tinged inner florals, while slowly gaining a more tactile feel through a blend of minerals and round tannins that settle in toward the close. This is so pretty and graceful in feel, yet with a saturating concentration of tarry fruit which, combined with the underlying structure, will promise years of development. In fact, it was only six hours after opening that the 2018 began to show more of a giving nature. Rest this for a few years in the cellar to unleash its inner beauty.