Now clearly I am biased here but I love these Passopisciaro wines from Sicily, from 100% Nerello Mascalese with the exception of the white that is 100% Chardonnay with no new oak.
The best way of thinking about these Wines, not in taste terms, but organisationally is to think of Passorosso as the village wine like Gervrey-Chambertin villages. Then the different sites or Contradas, as they are known, are like individual sites. Possibly with Chiappemacine as a lieu dit and the other Contradas as 1er Crus. It’s simplistic and I dislike lazy analogies but it Works in this instance. So to the tasting:
Passorosso 2013 – Formerly know as Passopisciario, this is Italy and rules change every year. Really extrovert aromas jump from the glass, a dash of volatility but not at all problematic. Tangy red fruits with a little of darker fruit too. The aromas make one think of sweetness but there is a balancing citrus side also. 17
Contrada Chiappemacine 2013 – A slight note of pencil shavings and graphite, more structure than Passo, quite mellow with good acidity. Less remarkable than the Passo. It could well be this is just a little muted but on this showing only 16.
Contrada Rampante 2013 – Lovely, more berry fruits and a little darker in character, expressive, sweetness and more volume, good herbal lift and that almost citrus tang. 17.5-18
Contrada Sciaranuova 2013 – Creamier texture, good freshness but rounder as a whole. Crisp red fruit and a herbal dimension. 17
Contrada Guardiola 2013 – Needed a bit of coaxing to come out of its shell but it did come forward. More tannin, more structure, the keeper of the bunch so far, still has the lift but this is tightly wound. 18
Contrada Porcaria 2013 – Nose is stunning. More succulent, more ripeness and as with Guardiola there is more volume and intensity here. There is a lovely slate like mineral finish. Impressive 18+
Passobianco 2014 – This was known as simply Guardiola Bianco until thsi year. It is a wine I buy every year, in fact I have just bought some more magnums of the 2013. This is so primary at this young stage, the palate is a lovely blend of fruit and soft minerality with a saline freshness…so moreish. 18