Sicily - Italy
In the South-western sea side town of Menfi, where the Belice River naturally flows into the deep blue Mediterranean Sea, is where you will find Marilena Barbera. Menfi is a hidden paradise: sandy dunes, dwarf palms, wild anise, rich culture, bright sunshine and a fresh cooling breeze. Proprietor and winemaker Marilena Barbera was reared in this garden of Eden, her family has been grape producers for three generations. She is a passionate woman, commitment to a sustainable viticulture that thoroughly respects the natural environment where she live and works with her family and her many, many dogs.
While she still grows the grapes that her father chose, Marilena embraces the regions grape varieties with vigor: Inzolia, Grillo, Perricone, Nerello, Alicante and Nero d’Avola, these are hers. Marilena Barbera’s white wines tend to have an unmatched vibrant, zestful salinity. The mild winters and warm dry summers paired with theintense temperature ranges between night and day impart tasty ripe berries with a touch of sweetness which smell of the land and sea. Marilena uses only indigenous yeast for fermentation- selected and reproduced in the vineyards. The wines do not contain GMO and have very low levels of sulfites. No tricks, no illusions just fabulous hand made wines.
Inzolia is primarily a native Sicilian grape variety. Marilena Barbera’s is a prime example of how delicious it can be when grown properly and made under a focused eye. From the La Costa vineyard in the Belice Valley, this wine has pleasant aromas of fresh blossoms, well balanced with a satisfying amount of natural acidity. It is no wonder that Gambero Rosso awarded it 2 glasses.
The luminous straw yellow color reflects a greenish hue when the light is just right. The fresh and charming bouquet with scents of white pear, broom and almond blossoms is a olfactory dream. On the palate it is well balanced with a charming acidity, citrus and a slice of white ripe fruit on the finish. A pleasure to drink.
La Bambina Rosato
Dedicated to strong women. It is a celebration of their power and energy, their tireless motivation in fighting for their beliefs, and their talent for problem solving despite difficulties and complications. La Bambina is Marilena’s baby- is a pleasant expression of Nero d’Avola grapes, harvested at night to preserve its freshest delicate aromas. Its color is a pale delicate copper, with a touch of salmon rose. To the nose, fresh and charming scents of wisteria blossoms merge into fruity tones of wild strawberries, watermelon and citrus skin. On the palate it is fresh and well balanced, with a pleasant and long lasting finish.
Fresh smells of the tropical winds, Sicilian spices and the Mediterranean Sea. Thanks to mild springs and warm summers, the grapes develop a delicious concentration, a rich and intense body and ripe fruitiness that is well balanced by it’s fresh acidity.
Typical hot Sicilian summers are not so common in Menfi. Here, the fresh sea breeze creates a microcosm that is perfect for grape growing. This is why the grapes are never too ripe nor too sweet, and grant the wine a vibrant, unique personality.
Marilena Barbera’s Nero d’Avola has a brilliant ruby red color with a touch of violet; its bouquet shows marine and spicy perfumes, with notes of fully ripe watermelon. On the palate it is fragrant and full, with soft and velvety tannins.
Coste al Vento’, Sicilian for hillside to wind is the perfect tittle for Marilena Barbera’s single vineyard Grillo. Grown in a low-impact method in the mineral rich rolling hills of Menfi, a stones throw throw away from the Strait of Sicily. Here the upper-level westerly winds retreat northward in the summer and produce warm and dry weather with light winds, creating a ideal growing situation for grape growing. Marilena Barbera’s native Grillo categorically embodies the land in which it is grown.
Fully ripe and expressive fruits meld with the minerality of the rich Sicilian soil and the saltiness of the fair ocean breeze to create a complex white wine of distinguishing taste and a vibrant straw color. Hints of grapefruit, pineapple, meadow nettle and wild herbs add layers of intricacy.
'Dietro le case’ Inzolia
"Behind the houses’ gets it’s name from the small beautiful vineyard was hand planted by Marilena’s father back in the 1920’s. The property, Tenuta Belicello, was a wedding gift from Marilena’s grandmother’s family. The Inzolia plantings have adapted to the soil and climate over the past 90 years, slowly and naturally modifying themselves to become different than the last- much like the family that has artfully farmed them. E pluribus unum- out of many, one Marilena Barbera’s
Dietro le Case Inzolia has a rich complex bouquet of white flowers, perfectly ripe melon, yellow clingstone peaches, cedar and a touch of wild thyme. It’s radiant bright strawflower yellow glistens in the glass that possesses a balanced acidity with an intense and mineral taste that is the backbone to this delightful wine. Persistent and pleasantly pleasing..
A homage to the vineyard and all it’s goodness, nature working together in perfect harmony. Her approach to interfering with this complex structure is very light handed- only assisting when the situation become dire. Her low-impact methods pay off. The sustainable farm is most health and her wines, especially this Perricone and Nerello Mascalese blend, are always delicious representations of the earth they are cultivated on.
Microcosmo is a bright and complex treat. Red ripe fruits partner with the enticing balsamic scents of sweet bay-leaf and mellow spices. It is soft and round on the palate making it an easy wine to enjoy. Velvety tannins and a fresh mineral structure facilitate Microcosmo’s energetic lingering taste. Always a pleaser.