Producer: Martinez

Grape: Muscat of alexandria

Pronunciation: ‘Zi-bib-bo’

Region: Trapani, Sicily

Producer Info:

When you first enter the courtyard at Martinez’ cellars on the outskirts of Marsala, and receive parking instructions from the octogenarian Domenico Martinez and his straw broom, you get more than an inkling of the soul of this treasure trove, founded in 1866 by Carlos Martinez. Here is almost the last of the true, family Marsala producers and nothing is done here in a hurry or for a quick result. They even remain a leading supplier of altar wine to the Catholic Church. This may speak as much about their survival skills in business, as to the richness of their heritage. The wines themselves are not just authentic, but fabulous, leading examples of a craft, or a series of crafts, which are slowly regaining recognition. The Marsalas are textbook, complex and almost always aged well beyond legal requirements for their DOC, but also clean, balanced and finishing beautifully with zip and the right grip.

Tasting note: The word “Zibibbo” comes from the Arab word zabib meaning raisins. Zibibbo is a strong wine similar to Marsala but fermented then partially distilled naturally, without the addition of spirits. Very individual and distinctive, Zibibbo has bitter orange, honey, brioche and grapey, spicy notes. This is sticky, but never cloying and stays up, fresh and lively through to the end. Like the others in this series, the textures, length and zing are surprising for the price. Ideal to have after dinner with a rich cake, cantucci, biscotti, pastries or with a cheese platter and dried fruit.

Alcohol (%): 16.5%