Conca 2019, Marabino
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100% Nero d'avola
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By Daniela Pareschi
Exclusively for Roscioli Wine Club & Rimessa Roscioli
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Marabino is found in Noto in southern Sicily, known for its Baroque city and wild, fertile hills.
The vines for the Conca 2019 were the first Nero d'Avola planted on the Marabino estate, extending for three and a half hectares, exposed to both east and north and cultivated with spurred cordon on very fine soil texture calcareous white soil. Biodynamically farmed, with no use of herbicides, no chemical or synthetic treatments or fertilizers. Their pesticide treatments are limited to low doses of mine sulfur; fertilizations are limited to biodynamic preparations, shredded pruning and green manure of grasses and legumes.
This Conca 2019 is distinguished by an exuberant freshness, with the typical Nero d'Avola hints of cherry and red pulp fruit, full and pulpy. The wine ferments with indigenous yeasts, with a long maceration of the must with the skins, followed by one year of maturation in stainless steel tanks and a long bottle aging.
Pierpaolo Messina is simply a genius. Young, with a zest for life and a desire to push boundaries (with the privilege to be able to risk), he’s achieved things that most others simply could not. Every few minutes he’s cracking a joke to the point where you would wonder if he’s really serious about winemaking. But all it takes is a casual walk through the vineyards with him and it’s like taking a masterclass on biodynamics, history, geography, geology and winemaking. He’s partnered with the University of Catania to design a 3 pit water system to recycle gray water which becomes a lagoon of fresh water to attract birds, insects and animals. He works with utmost respect and understanding of his vineyards. Until the last few years, they were his babies.
One thing you notice immediately in his vineyards (which is typical only in the south of Sicily) is how the color of the soil in the vineyards changes from a light yellow, to taupe, to dark gray in a matter of meters sometimes. Being a true experimenter, he had the thought: how are these soils each contributing to my Rosso di Contrada (a wine from all his vineyards from 100% Nero d’Avola)?
And so was born the idea to individually plot out each the various soils he has and make ‘cru’ bottlings from the 4 main soil types he has. Conca, he tells us, was his favorite for its elegance. Most often Nero d’Avola is big, ripe and often heavy. It’s from the south where wines almost naturally are like this from the sun. But his are different, refined, and elegant and that’s what we love. We loved this expression of Nero d’Avola so much that we bought nearly the entire collection of Conca 2019. Only 250 cases produced.