2012 Passopisciaro Bianco Guardiola

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(91 points)   Immediately recognizable as Chardonnay, the 2012 Guardiola opens to soft notes of exotic fruit, pineapple, citrus, stone fruit and creamy vanilla. It shows fleshy density and a bright off-gold color. The wine is aged in large oak casks for four months and then sees five months in cement. This is a beautiful white wine, loaded with character and mineral-driven volcanic subtext. Drink 2014-2022.



Andrea Franchetti is the original “man against the volcano.” This eccentric and utterly charming nobleman from Tuscany fell in love with Etna and decided to set up shop in the sleepy town of Passopisciaro following his success at Tenuta di Trinoro in Sarteano, Siena Province. As Andrea tells it, the Etna challenge was anything but easy. He fought with local sheepherders for control of his own property and is often under the threat of forest fires (from both arsonists and volcanic molten lava). For years, he was seen as an outsider within the closed and insular Etna community. But Andrea Franchetti’s contribution to the wine culture that now flourishes on Etna cannot be overstated. He is one of the founding fathers of this pioneering appellation. I once asked Andrea if he preferred making wine in Tuscany or Etna. “Sometimes I consider leaving Tuscany and coming to Etna full time,” he replied.



eRobertParker.com #212 May 2014


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