A Return to Marche and Garofoli Wines

It’s always fun to revisit newer vintages of wines that we have tasted in the past. It’s an opportunity to evaluate a winery’s continuing quality and I always hope to taste the nuances that can come with a new vintage – though this can be a stretch for me. It’s also an opportunity to impress upon my tasting memory the flavors of a particular wine. Today we are tasting new vintages of two wines from Garofoli, both 100% Verdicchio along with a 100% Montepulciano that we are tasting for the first time. We received all three wines as tasting samples.

Garofoli is a family-owned winery in Italy’s Marche (MAR-kay) region with a history dating back to 1871. The Garofoli family began making commercial wines in 1901 and today the winery is managed by the fifth generation. Garofoli is known for high-quality Verdicchio.

Estate vineyards are located in the communes of Montecarotto (planted to Verdicchio), Castelfidardo (planted to Verdicchio and Trebbiano) and two vineyards in Ancona (both planted to Montepulciano). 

Garofoli has wineries in two locations: Serra de’ Conti, located in the classic production zone of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi where Verdicchio is vinified and Castelfidardo in the Rosso Cònero production zone where Rosso Conero and Rosso Piceno DOC wines are made along with non-DOC red and white wines.

2016 Garofoli Podium Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi DOC Classico Superiore, Marche

2016 Garofoli Podium Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi DOC Classico Superiore, Marche light golden in the glass with aromas of citrus, cedar and hints of melon. The flavors are a complex combination of ripe melons, citrus zest, gravelly minerality, earth and cedar that lingers on the palate. The wine is round in the mouth with nice acidity. 14% abv. SRP $26

This single-vineyard Verdicchio has lots of body and richness with not as much obvious fruit as the wine that follows. It is made in a different style that yields a complex and contemplative wine worthy of a meal and that ages well. In 2015 the 2012 vintage received a Gambero Rosso Tre Bicchieri award.

The grapes are sourced from a vineyard located in the historic part of Marche’s best-known DOC, Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi. The vineyard is situated on a flat hill that resembles a speaker stand, hence the name Podium.

Yields from this vineyard are restricted and the grapes are picked later to lend complexity. The wine spent eight months on the lees with aging in concrete and stainless steel followed by 6 months in the bottle before release.

2018 Garofoli Macrina Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi DOC Classico Superiore, Marche

2018 Garofoli Macrina Verdicchio dei Castelli de Jesi DOC Classico Superiore, Marchepale yellow in the glass with generous aromas of white peaches, ripe pears, citrus blossoms and citrus zest. Bright flavors of stone fruit, pears, gravelly minerality and citrus zest finish with bright acidity. 13% abv. SRP $15

This bright, easy-sipping wine comes with lots of complexity and a lingering finish. It’s perfect for a sunny afternoon or a rainy, cloudy afternoon when you need a little sunshine. I tasted more complexity in the 2018 vintage than I did in the 2017 vintage.

This wine takes its name from a shrine to St. Macrina located close to the vineyard. Once again, vineyard yields are restricted and the grapes are harvested later for complexity. Vinification and aging for 5 months in stainless steel and concrete tanks keep this wine light on its feet. It’s intended for drink-now enjoyment.

2016 Garofoli Piancarda Rosso Conero DOC, Marche

2016 Garofoli Piancarda Rosso Conero DOC, Marchedense ruby in the glass with aromas of ripe plums, blackberries, leather, dusty earth and dried alfalfa hay. Bright flavors of dark cherries, raspberries, blackberries, dusty earth and dried hay are supported but ample drying and grippy tannins. The body is medium with a lingering finish. 13.5% abv. SRP $17

This is a delicious wine for very little money made using 100% Montepulciano sourced from the hills behind Monte Cònero. If you haven’t tasted Montepulciano as a varietal wine, you should. They’re perfect for this time of year as they have plenty of flavor, structure and length. Pair them with roasted meats, pasta or burgers.


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