There are two theories about the origin of the name of the grape variety called Lacrima, which translates to “teardrop.” The first is that the grape’s shape resembles a teardrop. The second is that its skin breaks easily and the juice seeps like a tear. The only sad aspect to Lacrima is that it almost went extinct until the 1980s, when a handful of local vignaioli revived it. This grape, however, produces not a brooding wine but a highly aromatic rosso that is all about pleasure, especially in the hands of Colleleva’s Stefano Antonucci.
The vineyards of Colleleva (Colle “hill”, and si leva, “rises”) lie on the heights of the Marche: about halfway between the Apennine mountains and the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. The combination of eastern sun exposure and the cooling winds from the Adriatic provide an optimal microclimate for balancing ripeness with fresh acidity in the grapes. Verdicchio, also known as Trebbiano di Soave, has been cultivated in the Marche for many centuries. It is capable of making vibrantly fresh and crisp white wines that are a wonderful accompaniment to seafood. The Riserva bottlings can age gracefully. From Colleleva we have a wine in the former camp. During a tasting trip in the Marche, their stainless steel tank vinified Verdicchio was one of the stars among many, many wines tasted. The perfume is entrancing—at once fresh and rounded, and typical of the grape. There is absolutely no pretension.
Let the brett nerds retire into protective bubbles, and whenever they thirst for wine it can be passed in to them through a sterile filter. Those of us on the outside can continue to enjoy complex, natural, living wines.
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