Friday night Pizza TNs: three 2011 Contrade from Passopisciaro

My wife is a little finicky when it comes to Sicilian reds, but in the last few months, she has been surprisingly enjoying the 2011 Passopisciaro Normale, so I decided to step our game up this week by checking out a few of the contrada releases from the same vintage. I also opened a Rampante that was unfortunately corked. The three notes below are all vineyards up on the Etna slope - the Chiappemacine being the lowest vineyard at approximately 550 meters above sea level. I find this to show well earlier than some of the other contrada - no clue if that is because it is warmer as you are lower on the Etna slope. The Guardiola runs between 800-1000 meters above sea level, although I believe most of Passopisciaro’s holdings are at the lower levels.

At any rate, a fun, and a little geeky, trio of Italian reds. I think my favorite tonight was the “C”.


Expansive on the palate, with ripe red & black fruits. The nose here is better, but overall this is pretty cohesive and very pleasurable.

Not bad on the palate - decent acidity & persistence, and fairly expansive. But unless it blows off with some air, the nose here will mark this down.

  • 2011 Passopisciaro Sicilia Contrada Guardiola - Italy, Sicily, Sicilia (4/22/2020)
    Awesome nose here, with soaring red berry fruit and floral tones as well, with a little menthol in the background. The kind of nose where you just hope that the palate reciprocates!

And unfortunately, the answer is not quite - not bad, but left in the shadow by that great nose. Light- to medium-bodied, decent acidity and persistence, but after the promise of that nose, a bit of a letdown.

Posted from CellarTracker

Nice. I have a few 2010s of these beauties. Looks like a time to give them a look.

Don, I opened a 2009 and 2010 Passopisciaro Sciaranuovo today. As I commented in the CT TN of the 2009, it’s the first time I can recall tasting one of his contrade wines that felt fully mature (not that I am implying any immediate decline - just that the wine felt like it was holding nothing back). If you have it, the 2010 Sciaranuovo was very good, but still has time in front of it.

Thanks Bob.

I would love to try all 5,6, or however many contradas Passopisciaro makes together someday, but I buy them piecemeal and never seem to get the same ones. Although interesting from an intellectual level, sometimes a winery makes life hard for itself by having too many choices. Usually when people are faced with too many choices, they take the cop out and go for the easiest choice.