Can Etna's Nerello Mascalese age?

Benjamin Franchetti

Passopisciaro’s Etna reds back to 2010 suggest yes – but, Walter asks, does ageability really matter? Above, Benjamin Franchetti of Passopisciaro.

Last autumn I was invited to taste several older vintages of Passopisciaro’s Contrada P, Contrada G and Contrada S. The tasting, organised by Passopisciaro’s UK importer Astrum and by Benjamin Franchetti, the son of the late Andrea Franchetti, focused on Nerello Mascalese’s ageing potential, because, as the invitation had it, ‘the recurrent question [is]: how will these wines develop with age?’ It drew a direct link to Burgundy, suggesting that because of Nerello Mascalese’s elegance and ethereal beauty...