Marco de Bartoli Marsala Superiore 1988 (500ml)


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“The 1988 Marsala Superiore Oro Riserva is a dark amber color with orange hues. It opens with a spice-box bouquet that takes all the confections of Autumn and Christmas blended with dried apricots, peaches and cedar shavings. It’s silky smooth yet lifted and decidedly savory, with a burst of ground ginger and sour citrus complicating its remnants of tart orchard fruit. Butterscotch comes together with clove and golden raisin as the 1988 finishes impossibly long and potent. It shows just a touch of forgivable heat as suggestions of hazelnut linger on and on. More like a brown spirit than a wine, the 1988 is irresistible. Drinking window: 2023-2038. 96 points

Marco de Bartoli is highly regarded for vintage Marsalas (make sure to check out the note on the 1988); his work is a fresh interpretation of Grillo and Zibibbo. These are some of the best white wines made in Sicily today. The Gappoli di Grillo goes through twenty-four hours of maceration and is then aged on its lees with bâtonnage in a mix of French oak barrels ranging from 225 to 1,000 liters. The Gappoli di Grillo is one of the most complex renderings of the variety I’ve ever encountered. Another highlight is the Zibibbo Integer, a wild wine from their bush-trained vines on Pantelleria. It goes through several months of maceration in clay amphorae, followed by ten months of further aging. Open a bottle and prepare to be bombarded by its exotic aromatics and seduced by its deep textures and zesty acidity. These wines get snatched up quickly by loyal de Bartoli fans. I can’t recommend them highly enough.”

Eric Guido, Vinous (09/23)