Scinniri is made by Passopisciaro up on Etna's north slope. It's an amazing place: the side of an active volcano, nearly 3000' above sea level, the lava looks like a moonscape, and not too far from the African coast. It's practically like the garden of Eden here. Andrea Franchetti the long term project of restoring an old farm house and vineyards in Solicchiata back in 2000. I have a hard time believing it would turn into what Passopisciaro is today. I've never met him, but I've drunk a lot of his wines, talked to a lot of people that know him, and I've hung out around this winery. I get the sense that he's a thorough precise kind of guy: that's the common theme I've found in his wines and physically how the winery is set up and renovated. but he's not afraid to experiment and innovate. Along with Frank Cornelissen, Franchetti is a driving force in recognizing the different vineyards around Etna's north slope that have special characters to them. He and Cornelissen are moving towards something like a 1er cru system but using the Sicilian word "contrada".
This is Vincenzo the vineyard manager.
The Scinniri is a sort of rare open secret of a wine that he makes as an entry level intro to Etna. Also FYI, 2014 was an amazing vintage on Etna.
Andrea's vines are planted at super high density.
Aroma: the 2014 Scinniri has smells of smoke, cherries, also some dried cherry, and an aroma of charcoal. The more the Scinniri opens up the prettier it gets! Aroma's of roses start to become more noticeable. But still there's something a bit charred lurking in there. It's both a really inviting lovely aroma and also somehow very volcanic!
Taste: In the mouth the Scinniri has more of that lovely relaxed supple cherry flavor. The wine really has power to it; it's dark and focused and muscular, but the texture is really smooth. Nerello (the grape) has many faces, but this is a great example of some of the commonalities a lot of them have: dark, dry, with noticeable but really enjoyable alcohol. The texture is so smooth and the aromatics are really unusually pretty. the juxtaposition of deep dark volcanic power and lovely pretty aromatics with a smooth texture is irresistible. This is a great warming winter wine that tastes like a tropical volcanic island. And this vintage in particular is a great deal.