2016 Nino Baracco Rosamare
Region: Marsala < Sicily < Italy
Grapes: Nero di Avola
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; 24-hour maceration on the skin, basket pressed then fermented in stainless steel; no added SO2
Winemaker: Nino Baracco
Like so many new generation Italian winemakers, Nino took over his family’s vineyards in 2004 and started working organically, using only the native grapes of his Western Sicily, and focusing on single vineyard expressions of the grapes. Note: in Western Sicily, this is all very rare. As are his wines, which really taste like Marsala, a barren stretch of coastline with dry winds, golden light and an omnipresent sea. Nino’s wines are aromatically intense, mysteriously light and incredibly saline. Like this wine, which we call a light red but, given its lit-from-within cherry pink color and 10.5% ABV, some might call a rose. Grapes are picked early, in the middle of August, to ensure that the acid is high and the alcohol low. The juice is gently pressed in old-school baskets, never seeing wood or any sort of manipulation or additive. The result is an extremely refreshing, transparent wine that exudes cherry and strawberry, with salty, bitter orange Campari notes, that comes alive with air and chill. All of Nino’s wine are made in a reductive style to protect them from oxygen, since he uses no sulfur. Which means this wine can be a bit weird or off-smelling when you first open. THIS IS NORMAL. She just needs to breathe. Decent into a pitcher – nothing fancy, something with a wide opening. Wait 20 minutes and pour a glass. Smell, sip, enjoy, then pour another glass 30 minutes later. It will be completely different, more alive. So cool to watch it evolve!