Pantelleria Island, Sicilia (TP), Italy
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Like diving headfirst into a deep underwater cavern through turbulent black waters, the Anforaje Zibibbo is profound. Vulnerability sets in when you can't see the bottom and the strong currents start to pull you towards the jagged black rock confines coated in sea urchins.
Coming up for air is a momentary grace. Saline puffs and mediterranean scrub rides the startling but warm scirocco wind that sweeps through your memories for summer sunsets from the past.
The golden hour sunlight casts reflections of amber on the waves. Beneath the surface, you sense the spirit of the ancient volcano.
Wines can be tasted to determine a sense of the terrain, but to evoke emotions unique to the landscape of the wines origin is rare. Anforaje is a place, a feeling, an experience.
The bouquet is elaborate and evolving. A distant aroma of jasmine flowers and almonds comes and goes as dried stone fruits and balsamic undertones undulate delicately closer and closer in wave, glass by glass.
All the quintessential moscato characteristics are well-rounded in the wines steadfast foundation, while the island exposes it's rugged and wild landscape through the wines iconic Pantesco perfumes and savour. Everything you experience sensorially while in Pantelleria can be revealed in just one glass of this wine. The salty winds, the roadside stalks of finnochio selvatico (wild fennel) that express their aniseed essence when driving past, the vanilla pipe tobacco-esque odour and flavour of freshly-cured table capers are all yours for as long as you can make the bottle last.
A wine made naturally with minimal intervention, but made well with a definitive structure. Jacopo's meticulous grape selections and tedious manual harvest techniques transmit an expression of the Pantelleria Zibibbo that is both particular and paramount. There is a vibrancy that stems from its soft ripe apricot acidity and its fresh fichi d'india (prickly pear) fruit finish, but the savory retronasal eccentricity that completes the wine is its identical aroma to the wild oregano bushes that grow like weeds through the volcanic rocks all over the island.
These flavors persist long after each sip, and long after the bottle is finished. Like questions about life that linger on until the end. I can still sense it all now.