Today’s Cellar Note takes us to the Marche region of Italy and provides a taste of Verdicchio, a grape variety closely associated with the region, which lies along the Adriatic Sea. We received both wines as tasting samples.
2017 Garofoli Macrina Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Marche — pale straw in the glass with generous aromas of oat hay, dusty gravel and hints of stone fruit. An intense minerality leads the flavor profile along with citrus flavors. An interesting sprinkling of peppery spice notes linger in the background. Acidity is significant in this light-bodied wine with a medium-length finish. 13% abv. SRP $14
This wine is bright, refreshing and I find the intense minerality very pleasing. It is made from 100% Verdicchio from vines with a higher yield than the Podium and is harvested earlier as well.
2015 Garofoli Podium Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Marche — light yellow-green in the glass with ripe citrus and stone fruit. Concentrated flavors of dried citrus and herbs blend with intense minerality. This wine has a bit of weight and roundness in the mouth and a very long finish with generous acidity. 14% abv. SRP $25
This is a wine with more concentration and body. It is sourced from estate vineyards with a lower crop yield and is 100% Verdicchio. It ages in stainless steel for 15 months and for four months in bottle.
Both wines are delicious and both would accompany a meal nicely. The winery suggests consuming the Macrina within two to three years of the vintage date. The Podium is made for a bit more longevity – within six to 10 years of the vintage date.
We enjoyed both wines with grilled salmon and lentils. I preferred sipping the Macrina as I fixed dinner because of the generous stone fruit flavors. The concentrated flavors and weight of the Podium made it a perfect partner for our meal.
This is a variety with which we have little experience so I can’t help but pull out the reference books to learn about it. We tasted both of these wines and made tasting notes before I did any reading about the variety.
I found the section about Verdicchio in Ian d’Agata’s Native Wine Grapes of Italy very informative. His detailed account of the variety covers three pages. Some of the most interesting points:
- Verdicchio is named for its green skin and is an extremely versatile wine grape making quality dry, sweet and sparkling wines. Dry wines can age well for ten years or more. It ripens slowly, resulting in wines with complex flavors, while maintaining high acidity.
- Verdicchio originated in the Veneto region of Italy and is genetically identical to Trebbiano di Soave. Trebbiano di Soave and Trebbiano di Lugana are slightly different genetically, but my understanding is that all of these varieties are essentially the same. They may look a bit different and taste different because they’re grown in different areas.
Winemaking in the Garofoli family dates back to 1871 and Antonio Garofoli. The next generations commercialized that winemaking effort and established Garofoli Gioacchino Winery. Today fourth and fifth-generation family members manage the winery.
Annual production is about two-million bottles and distribution is world-wide. The DOC wines of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi comprise more than one-half of that production. Grapes are sourced from the family’s nearly 125 acres of estate vineyards as well as area growers.
Both of these wines are perfect for warm-weather enjoyment. Thanks to Jarvis Communications for expanding our palates.