This private-label Verdicchio is to white wine what the Kermit Lynch Côtes du Rhône is to red. Both are well-priced crowd-pleasers that punch above their weight and seem to always deliver. Here, gentle aromas of fresh flowers and crisp apples emerge from the glass and make for a splendid little wine that can pair with almost anything. Need a wine to please everyone at your next dinner party without feeling too guilty for splashing a bit in your risotto? Look no further!
As with every region in Italy, the Marche is a world all unto itself. This is the home of the Verdicchio grape, whose name comes from the root verde, describing both the greenish hue of the grapes and the resulting wine. The Castelli di Jesi DOC is one of the largest of the zones in which Verdicchio is grown.. It is capable of making vibrantly fresh and crisp white wines. The Riserva bottlings can age gracefully. From Azienda Santa Barbara we have a wine in the former camp. Owner Stefano Antonucci has a track record of creating benchmark wines from the Marche and we are excited to bring this Verdicchio as our first import from this little-known region of Italy.
Le Marche’s reputation as a producer of fine wine is relatively recent, as the region is very much off the beaten path for tourists and tasters alike. And yet, early Etrsucan and Roman civilizations grew grapes here, a tradition that persists and continues to gain momentum in this undulating land where the Apennines descend to the Adriatic.
In between the warm coastline and the cool, rugged mountainous border with Umbria lies a landscape of calcareous rolling hills that provide ideal conditions for viticulture. The zingy, green-tinged, citrus- and pine-scented Verdicchio is king here, producing delightfully crisp whites that perfectly complement the fresh fish and seafood stews of the Adriatic, in addition to the pork-based dishes that are staples inland. Around the towns of Jesi and Matelica, the grape takes on an additional dimension and is even capable of significant aging under the right conditions.
While our involvement in the region is recent, the two producers we represent demonstrate that Le Marche is capable of producing whites of serious interest, which often come at great value.
For the wines that I buy I insist that the winemaker leave them whole, intact. I go into the cellars now and select specific barrels or cuvées, and I request that they be bottled without stripping them with filters or other devices. This means that many of our wines will arrive with a smudge of sediment and will throw a more important deposit as time goes by, It also means the wine will taste better.
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