Cantine Pellegrino Uncle Joseph Marsala Superiore Rubino Dulce 18%

£15.75 / bottle
£179.55 / case (12+ bottles, 5% off)

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Cantine Pellegrino Uncle Joseph Marsala is the new name for what was previously known as Cantine Pellegrino Marsala. This is a red fortified wine which is now bottled as a vintage Marsala Superiore. The wine pays homage to the English businessman Joseph who joined his joined Uncle Benjamin in Sicily in 1819 to produce Marsala wine and created large fleet of sailing ships to distribute their wines around the world. 

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.

Cantine Pellegrino Uncle Joseph Marsala Superiore Rubino Dulce is made from red grapes sourced from vineyards in the region of Mazara del Vallo in the province of Trapani. The vineyards here have clay-limestone, sandy, slightly clayish soils and are situated a few meters above sea level. The climate: here is Mediterranean with mild winters, limited rainfall and very hot, windy summers.

The wine begins with manually harvested Nero d’Avola. During the vinification process, the fermentation process is stopped with the addition of a grape spirit that has been aged for at least 5 years in oak cask (a grape brandy). Cantine Pellegrino Uncle Joseph is bottled as a Marsala Superiore. This means that it has to be aged for a minimum of 24 months in oak barrel. This is aged in 50hl and 20hl Allier oak barrels for over 24 months.  

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. Read more about Marsala here.

This is a superb alternative to Port wines and other red dessert wines like Aleatico or Recioto

Tasting Notes

From Pellegrino:

Colour: deep ruby red.

Aroma: extremely fruity, with notes of black cherries, pomegranates and plums. 

Palate: sweet, with evident hints of red berries, cherries, Marasca cherries and pomegranates.

Food Pairing

Traditional: dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa.

Unconventional: slice of grilled black bread from
Castelvetrano, fresh Tuma cheese and mulberry jam.

Cheese aged in Nero d’Avola wine. Serve at 12°-14° C


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