Between the years 1950 and 1970, 2,500 robust grapevine bushes per hectare were grown on volcanic, terraced slopes in the idyllic district of Bukkuram, Pantelleria. The plants were grown according to the formative "vite ad alberello" system, which was recognised by UNESCO as a World Agricultural Heritage Site in 2014.
With a remarkable 25 hectolitres per hectare harvested by hand between mid-August and early September, the vineyard records impressive efficiency. 50% of the grapes are shielded by dense walls of volcanic rock and sun-dried on special mats for at least three weeks. The remaining grapes ripen on the plant until September. Once fermentation has started, the previously dried grapes are added to the base wine and macerated for about three months. The result is an exclusive balance between alcohol content and residual sugar. Finally, refinement takes place with at least 30 months of ageing in French 225-litre oak barrels and a further 6 months in stainless steel tanks.
Intense amber in colour, the wine glows with golden reflections.
The diverse range of scents of Bukkuram 2014 unfolds like an aromatic potpourri. Here, aromas of dried apricots, exotic mango, dates, sultanas, delicate nougat, fir honey and juicy fruit bread find expression, enveloped by striking toasted notes reminiscent of wood smoke, a tobacco box and toasted almonds.
The wine's luxurious sweetness, which resembles an oily texture, is accompanied by a refreshing orange and citrus note. The wine's play of flavours is extraordinarily multi-faceted and complex, making it a real treat.
A suitable food accompaniment would be smoked duck liver parfait with orange peel and black walnuts, or try a strong Blue Stilton accompanied by juicy fruit bread. A dessert of caramel tart with sea salt and mango ice cream could bring the wine visits to an exquisite close.
Marco de Bartoli
Marco de Bartoli, Contrada Fornara Samperi 292, 91025 Marsala-Sicily / Italy