Dear readers, I hope you don’t tire of my hyperbolic descriptors. ‘Remarkable’, ‘Sensational’, ‘Incredible’. I’m beginning to sound like a Daily Mail wine critic. After all, one route to success as a wine writer is to lavish everything you taste in effusive praise. The recipients of this praise, who usually don’t bother to check all other reviews by the praiseful reviewer, are flattered and very happy, and go on to promote the writer’s work. But it doesn’t serve the reader very well.
I try my best to save my praise for really good wines. And because only a fraction of the wines I taste make it onto this blog, I realize that it might appear as if I like everything a little too much. I don’t, it’s just I’d rather not bore you with mediocre wines. [Besides, I find it hard to say much about them.]
Here is a truly incredible wine. A wine with an amazing sense of place. It won’t be for everyone, but I was blown away by it. It’s from a vineyard in the Marsala region of Sicily just a couple of hundred feet from the seashore, made from vines planted in the dunes. 2012 was the first vintage. What’s remarkable is that this wine tastes of the sea, and I wrote my note before I’d done any research on it, so this wasn’t just the power of suggestion. There’s a nice report on a visit to this vineyard here.
Barraco Vignammare 2013 Sicily, Italy
The packaging looks cheap, but what is in the bottle is truly lovely. This is a wine made from a vineyard on the seashore, with Grillo vines planted in dunes, and no sulfur dioxide has been added. A pale yellow colour, this has a tangy, mineral, smoky, almost saline nose with a hint of iodine. The palate is fresh and textured with a lovely lemony core, some ripe apple and pear, and a really persistent salty, mineral quality anchoring all the flavours. It flirts with funkiness, but stays pure in the end with real complexity and layers of flavour. Profound. 95/100 (UK agent Tutto Wines)
Find this wine with wine-searcher.com