Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Marco De Bartoli Vigna Verde 2015

Grillo. A white grape variety native to Sicily – an increasingly popular variety that produces fragrant, full bodied wines with high acidity and excellent quality thanks to some passionate to the core winemakers.  No longer used only for Marsala because of its fierce acidity and aging potential, dry styles are starting to hit the scene from Sicilian producers and Marco de Bartoli, a race car driver turned winemaker, happens to be one of them.    

A big believer in working with grapes native only to Sicily, Marco De Bartoli started producing wine in 1978. De Bartoli wanted to make wines of quality and rid that image of ‘Marsala is only for cooking’ by producing hand crafted Solera aged 100% Grillo Marsala from his farm named Samperi.

Starting off by planting only Grillo vines and obtaining old solera casks from here and there, he slowly built his portfolio of wines and in the past decade, his three children Renato, Sebastiano, and Giusippina began working for their father.  Today, these second generation winemakers are taking the reins and continue to craft wines respecting Sicilian wine traditions and organic wine making principals.  They are making several different Marsala’s, dry indigenous varieties, sparkling wines, and Passito. 

The 2015 Vigna Verde is 100% Grillo and comes from Contrada Samperi, Marsala, where the vines are about 20 years old, single Guyot trained.  Grapes are picked and selected by hand then soft pressed to obtain a must that will naturally decant under cool conditions for 48 hours.[1]  Using natural yeasts with the minimal amount of sulphates, it is fermented in stainless steel tanks.  The wine is then aged 6 months on lees. 

De Bartoli first started making this style of wine in 2013, and it is an amazing example of what a Grillo can be.  Having the 2015 vintage just last week, it has taught me something new.  It was first experience tasting a 100% Grillo wine, and it was surprising how fresh and layered it can be.  Sicily can be a hot place but given the variety, the wine is fine example of a clean, high acid wine that is round on the palate supported by a lovely concentration of fruit.  It has a plump mouthfeel and certainly creates an interesting dynamic with the floral and sea shell characteristics.  It’s interesting.  It’s super delicious.    Having been just released at the SAQ, it would be a good idea to get some for yourself, before they’re gone.

Pale gold in colour, with lean long legs taking its time to run down the glass.  The nose displays a mix of grapefruit and cantaloupe with an insane amount of lovely salty sea shells.  The palate is dry, round, has a fierce clean acidity with an excellent concentration of citrus fruit that is layered with minerality.  Long finish. Drink now or within the next 2-3 years.

Wine: Marco De Bartoli Vigna Verde 2015
Grape: Grillo
Alcohol: 11.5%
SAQ Code: 13111228
Price: $27.40
Agent: Oenopole


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