2020 Marco Barba Barbarbianca
Region: Veneto < Italy
Grapes: Garganega + a splash of Glera and other mystery whites
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Biodynamic farming, fermentation and aging 9 months in concrete tanks; bottled unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Marco BarbaYoung gun winemaker and biodynamic farmer Marco Barba is the heart (and face - that's him on the labels) of the Marcobarba project. After university, Marco moved to the Jura to work as a shepherd and farmer, inspired by biodynamic agriculture and the ideas of Rudolf Steiner. After honing his farming skills, he moved back home to Lonigo, in the Veneto, to start making wine. His day job is assistant winemaker to Stefano Menti, the biodynamic Garganega whisperer in Gambellara. He also makes his own wine, for the eponymous Marco Barba project, in the Menti cellars. I had the pleasure of visiting Stefano and Marco last summer in Gambellara, where we walked the steep hillside vineyards on serious volcanic soils, the mystery element that gives the whites from here such electricity.
For his own project, he makes wine from a few vineyards he manages on behalf of elderly widows in town, and with the help of his friends - whom he affectionately refers to as the 'Barbaboyz'. Slowly but surely, he converted these vineyards to biodynamic farming, and makes the wines with minimal additions: "wines simply made with grapes" he says.
'Barbabianca' is Marco's still white, a boisterous bottle of electric volcanic juice, tart and tangy, with mouthwatering acid. There's pretty white peach, apricot, melon
and loads of zesty lemon juice on a flinty, mineral-driven backbone. Super refreshing and dangerously drinkable on its own or with any food that would benefit from a splash of lemon.