March Wine Notes

March, 2022 – Abruzzo/le marche

Abruzzo has it all.

Gorgeous lakes, the Adriatic coastline, national parks, imposing mountain ranges, UNESCO heritage sites, some of the most beautiful medieval towns in the country and an eclectic and diverse cuisine that changes from the beach to the mountains. And wine.

Winemaking traditions in Abruzzom date back to the sixth century BC thanks to the Etruscans, who played a major role in introducing viticulture to the area.  One of the oldest wine-growing regions in the world, Abruzzo is known for its dominant varieties, the red Montepulciano grape and the white Trebbiano d’Abruzzo grape, and for nurturing lesser-known varietals like Passerina, Cococciola, and Pecorino. The latter is named not after the eponymous cheese but, rather, its historic tie to local shepherds (pecora means “sheep” in Italian) who were rumored to have noshed on these abundant grapes as they tended to their flocks. Right above Abruzzo lies Le Marche, one of Italy’s least-known treasures. You can find here anything from white-pebble beaches and cliff-backed Adriatic bays to medieval hill towns and snow-capped peaks. Marche is popular for its white wine from the Verdicchio grape varietal. However, they also produce some outstanding red wines mainly in the southern areas.

 

Lunaria ZeroPuro Mineraliae, 2020
Grape: Montepulciano
Region: Abruzzo

From the love and respect of an authentic land, from the desire to leave unaltered the pungent charm while making the most of its potential, the production of Lunaria wine is a harmonious mix of excellence and strong personality. Just like several members of the Co-op established in the 1960s in Abruzzo, ZeroPuro follows biodynamic principles, uses only natural sulphites and spontaneous yeast fermentation, resulting in  real expression of the terroir in the wine. Fun fact: no trees are harmed in making their labels, and they are completely recyclable. With chocolate and earthy cola notes, smooth tannins and subtle black fruit hints this unique wine is great on its own or paired with a wide variety of food.

Jasci Pecorino, 2020
Grape: Pecorino
Region: Abbruzzo

Located on the hills that rise 250 meters above sea level from the Adriatic Sea just above the seaside resort town of Vasto in Abruzzo, the Jasci family has been growing grapes and producing wine for three generations. In the early 1960s, Pasquale and Maria turned the focus of their farm to growing grapes and to producing estate wines. In 1980, their son Giuseppe made the prescient choice to convert the farm to organic, becoming one of the first ten wineries in all of Italy to be certified. Forty years later, Cantine Jasci continues to be a leader in the production of organic wines.

Lively straw yellow. Elegant and delicate with hints of mature yellow fruits. Pleasant with good body, saltiness and freshness with final notes of white-pulp fruit and bitter almonds.

Marchesi Migliorati Cerasuolo d’Abruzzo 2020

Region: Abruzzo
Grape: Montepulciano

Marchesi Migliorati was born from the collaboration between Oscar Farinetti and Passione Naura, the young company specializing in the processing of certified organic and biodynamic grapes that has its headquarters in the town of Paglieta. This bright coral pink wine is well balanced and fragrant with notes of fresh cherries, small red fruit, floral hints of rose and aromatic herbs.

Azienda Vinicola Talamonti, Trebi, 2020

Grape: Trebbiano Abruzzese 100%
Region: Abruzzo

Talamonti was founded in 2001 by the Redmont – Di Tonno family, in a magnificent, unspoiled part of the Abruzzi. Their daily objective lies in constantly seeking the best interaction between the varietal in the vineyards, the sun-exposition, the training method, and the desired yield, with the sole desire to best express unique terroir. They handle Trebbiano grapes with attention in the vineyard and care in the winery and produce excellent dry whites of simplicity and elegance.

Delicate aromas of citrus, pome fruit and candied blossoms grace the nose of this light-bodied white. It’s zesty and brisk on the palate, with a hint of yellow plum rounding things out. 

Lucchetti, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 2020

Region: Marche
Grape: Lacrima

Mario Lucchetti, helped by his wife Teresa, his son Paolo and his wife Tiziana, has become a reference point for Lacrima di Morro d’Alba wines. Lacrima di Morro d’Alba is an indigenous dark purple grape that exemplifies the Marche wine region. Historic records document that the grape has been harvested in the narrow region that today comprises the heart of Morro d’Alba since medieval times. a very pleasant, ready-to-drink wine with the unmistakable bouquet of violets and wild strawberries. Fruity yet exotic and concentrated, this wine is delightfully paired with traditional salami and Italian cold cuts, roasted meats, and grilled sausages and is perfect for spring and fall when the weather calls for less structured wines.

Garofoli, ‘Farnio’ Rosso Piceno, 2020

Grape: 70% Montepulciano, 30% Sangiovese
Region: Marche

Marche’s winemaking heritage spans thousands of years and has been influenced, among others, by the Etruscans, Romans and Lombards. The origins of the Garofoli Winery date back to the late 1800s when Antonio Garofoli, in 1871, was already dedicated to the production and sale of local wines. Family-owned for three centuries and 5 generations winery in the Ancona hills on the Tyrrhenian coast produces a wide range of wines enjoyed all over the world.  

Farnio represents the Rosso Piceno denomination in the Garofoli line. As is typical for these wines, Farnio is a blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese, with the emphasis on Montepulciano. Gianfranco Garofoli named this wine after a beautiful mountain pass in Monti Sibillini National Park of southern Marche above Rosso Piceno, one of his favorite places to ride his enduro motorbike.

Garofoli, Spumante Brut, NV

Grape: Verdicchio 
Region: Marche, Italy

Another beautiful wine from a great producer: The Spumante Brut is the first in the Garofoli line of sparkling wines, in production for more than six decades. This sparkling wine has great freshness and intensity.  The wine is dry, fresh and fragrant with notes of barely ripe white peaches. Pair this with a wide range of hors d’oeuvres.  This is a great alternative to Prosecco!

La Monacesca, Verdicchio di Matelica 2015

Grape: Verdicchio
Region: Marche

Agricola La Monacesca is located in the commune of Matelica, owes its name to the settlement, around 900AD, to a small band of Benedictine monks from the monastery of Farfa who fled northern Italy under the scourge of the Lombards. They decided to stay in this out-of-the-way place, and built a small church and a monastery (today perfectly restored and now part of the winery’s borgo, or hamlet); thus this splendid area took the name of Monacesca over time. The name became the winery brand-name too in 1966

This is one of the most distinctive versions of Verdicchiodi Matelica. It needs a bit of time for its characteristics to mature and thus to reveal itself as a wine of exuberant aromatic richness, yielding notes of anise, citron, and dried fruit. Powerful and full-bodied on the palate, it maintains its remarkable concentration on through a very lengthy finish. 

Corte Fiore, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Appasimento 2020

Region: Abruzzo
Grape: Montepulciano

Corte Fiore means “Court Flower.” Practicing sustainable farming methods, the wines from Corte Fiore focus on the terroir of the Italian regions of Abruzzo and Veneto to create quality wines. This wine is the creation of Passione Natura, a group of select Italian growers led by the Pizzolo Family — specialists in farming, winemaking and estate viticulture. Together, their mission is the revitalization of vineyard sites throughout these regions.

The Appassimento technique is an old, traditional Italian winemaking method that involves partially drying grapes on the vine. This results in wines with greater concentration, body and texture, and allows winemakers to create more robust wines from grapes grown in cooler climates. This wine features aromas of wild cherry and red plum, followed by notes of juicy fruit, bright acidity and ripe tannins