The Barbaneras are one of the most in-demand (and hugely awarded) families we work with. The full list of their international accolades is pages long, and includes 97-, 98-, and 99-point scores for their flagship Super Tuscan, Vecciano.
We've been eagerly anticipating the release of their passito from Puglia for months – a luxuriously rich Primitivo blend made with appassimento (aka air-dried) grapes. Then we heard the news that top Italian critic Luca Maroni gave it a 98-point rave. And now, we're thrilled to bring it to your dinner table. (But, there are painfully limited quantities to go around, so you'll have to be quick.)
To achieve the perfect passito, winemaker Sofia Barbanera spent weeks combing through rows and rows of ancient vines (trained in the traditional albarello method), looking for just the right bunches of grapes. When she found some that fit the bill, she cordoned them off so they wouldn't get mixed in and harvested along with the fruit that didn't make the cut. It took an age to find all that she needed – and then came the waiting.
Twenty days after all the other grapes had been harvested, the bunches Sofia hand selected still hung from the vine – each grape a raisined knot of extremely concentrated flavors. The resulting wine shows off an inky black color in the glass with gorgeous aromas and flavors of black plum jam, black cherry, and blackberry with elegantly spicy notes. And it's oh-so-rich.
Sofia's family suggested she name the wine "Massaro del Fondo" - loosely translated from the Puglian dialect, it means "caretaker of the farm." A fitting name after all that effort, we'd say! Hurry for your taste (then pair with a rich beef roast or mature cheeses).