The front but technically the back!

Possibly the wine that Andrea Franchetti is least well known for is the very one that actually bears his name. Andrea is famous for his Tuscan wines at Tenuta di Trinoro and for the wines made from Nerello Mascalese at Tenuta di Passopisciaro on Mount Etna. BUT there is another red made on Etna from a combination of varieties that Andrea brought with him from Tuscany. Franchetti is an ever-oscillating blend of Petit Verdot (richness and depth) and Cesanese d’Affile (lift and elegance). It was a wine first made in 2005. With Andrea in town last week for a dinner and another tasting, more on which in later blogs, it seemed a good chance to taste four vintages.

Franchetti 2008 (60% Petit Verdot, 40% Cesanese d’Affile)
Some rubber and cheesecloth here, a savoury degraded fruit, a definite food wine. There is good but bruised dark fruits on the palate. An intense and rich quality with lots of leather, some iodine and a good dollop of tar. 15-16/20

Franchetti 2009 (80% Cesanese d’Affile, 20%  Petit Verdot )
A much lighter colour which reflects the switch in varietals in the blend. Brightness and violets on the nose then a good bit of citrus and grapefruit. There is a grippy feel and a definite nod to Nebbiolo here. To my mind a far more vibrant wine than the 2008 but then the 2009 vintage was not a blockbuster on Etna. 17/20

Franchetti 2010 (100% Petit Verdot)
Just to show Andrea doesn’t follow a particular plan, 2010 is almost the opposite in blend to 2009. Very dark, tar and leather, a wine for the Northern Rhone fan…there is depth and some sweetness on the palate which has a red-berried freshness to the finish. I like this. 17.5/20

Franchetti 2011 (50% Petit Verdot, 50% Cesanese d’Affile)
And then the “middle ground” in terms of the blend. Cooler fruits on the nose, a little muted, then a lovely texture on the palate. There is a lot of the three crucial components here, ripe sweetness, good tannin and then a vibrant drive of acidity. It strikes me the two varieties complement each other well. 17.5-18/20

I feel I understand the wine far better now. For me, the drinking window looks to be in the same zone as serious Barbera i.e 4-7 years after production. Thanks for the tasting Andrea.

The back but technically the front!