Zibbibo, 2019, Barraco
A zippy and aromatic light orange with a sea-licked edge
Region: Sicily, Italy
Grape(s): Zibbibo (Muscat d’Alexandrie)
Low Sulphur: Yes
Tasting Notes: Orange blossom, lemon peel, white peach, Provençal herbs, salinity
Nino Barraco is based in the ‘Port of God’ (or Mars el-Allah, as the Moors called it in the Middle Ages, now Marsala) on the western tip of Sicily. Known for its fortified wine, Marsala is now home to many winemakers making dry white wines with some salty characteristics from its proximity to the sea breeze. Nino is one of the frontrunners here, having taken over from his parents at their vineyard in 2004. He immediately converted to organic farming, to allow the grapes to best express their terroir – a mindset he extends to the making of plenty of single vineyard wines to express the difference in those parcels. His vineyards are spread up and down the coast, and each ones shows a different moment and place of the West of Sicily, in the Port of God. Vibrant and full of life, the wines are truly God-like and have a place in the heart of our sommelier-at-large since a trip to Sicily in 2019.
Zibbibo (the Italian name for Muscat d’Alexandrie) is from a young parcel planted on sandy soils. A couple of days of maceration bring out the more complex and developed flavour compounds, and the wine is fermented and briefly aged in concrete vats. An aromatic wine, with Sicilian touches like orange blossom, herbs and spice, it is balanced with searing acidity and salinity. It is an elegant and refreshing Zibbibo that makes you dream of a Sicilian terrace, fresh produce and good friends. Also works in rainy London.