Cantine Pellegrino Marsala Superiore Garibaldi Dolce is a medium sweet style of Marsala, perfect as a dessert wine or as an ingredient in Italian desserts such as Tiramisu, Zabaglione or Christmas Cake and Puddings.
Unlike other fortified wines, the creation of Marsala can be pinpointed to one man, Englishman, John Woodhouse. Woodhouse was a connoisseur of Port, Madeira and Sherry and when he arrived in the city of Marsala in 1770, it wasn’t long before he thought to try fortifying the local wines. In 1773 he added 8 litres of grape brandy to 400 litre barrels of wine, shipped it to England, and, effectively Marsala was born. Marsala first received Denominazione di Origine Controllata (DOC) status in 1969. Today, Cantine Pellegrino, along with their competitors Cantine Florio, are recognised as the two top Marsala producers. Cantine Pellegrino came a little after Woodhouse. It was established in 1880 by Paolo Pellegrino and the company today remains in family ownership (one of only 2 to do so) and is one of only 3 Marsala houses founded in the 19th century that is still in existence.
There are quite a few different style of Marsala and they vary in terms of sweetness (from sweet through to dry), in terms of ageing (some in a system similar to the Solera system in Sherry, some in single casks) and then in the length of times the wines are aged. Most Marsala is white, but some is also made from red grapes. Essentially all begin life as a wine fermented to dryness (for dry Marsala) or as unfermented grape must (for sweeter styled) which are then fortified with unaged grape spirit or sometimes aged grape brandy. Read more about Marsala here.
Cantine Pellegrino Marsala Superiore Garibaldi Dolce is bottled under the Marsala Superiore Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP) which means that is has to be aged for a minimum of 2 years in cask. As a Dolce it must have a sweetness of at least 100 g/L of residual sugar. It is made from the white grapes Grillo, Cataratto and Inzolia sourced vineyards surrounding Marsala and Mazara del Vallo in the province of Trapani.