There are some wines that get us very excited here at Baythorne Wines, and the Passo Antico is certainly one of them. Few wines combine such vibrant flavours, rich texture and exception value for money.
Here are the headlines: Appassimento method, 100 year old vines, full bodied, flavoursome, fresh and a rare Sardinian wine at this price.
The wine is one of the growing number of Italian wines made in the appassimento style, whereby at least a portion of the grapes are air-dried following harvest to intensify the flavour and sugars. This ensures a depth of flavour, but what is so appealing about the Passo Antico is that it hasn't reduced the freshness and vibrancy, and neither has it resulted in either excessive sweetness or high alcohol levels that can happen. What we have here is something of a Sardinian masterpiece.
The dominant grape is Cannonau (the Sardinian name for Grenache) blended with Carignan and Barbera Sarda (only found on Sardinia). It's made by Cantina Bortolato Emanuela, a mainland Italian producer based in Veneto, but working with wineries dotted around the country and islands. They produce exceptional wines and this one shows an intense aroma of stewed autumnal fruits, and on the palate it's fairly full bodied, with an intense flavour of damson and fresh summer fruit notes in the background.
This is a wine that should be in everyone's wine rack.