Le Marche And Verdiccio

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After the break in Florence I headed south to my new workaway volunteer gig in the March region. A couple of ex-pat South African guys who decided to chuck the rat-race back home and move to the country. They bought a run down sixteenth century villa in one of the town of Gualdo which is one of many Medieval hilltop towns in this part of Italy. They are renovating the building into a B&B. They have uncovered previously hidden beautiful frescos and the view from pool will be a killer. In the meantime, the house where I volunteered at was perched on a hill with a  stunning view of rolling green hills and craggy, snow capped mountains in the near distance.

On Saturday afternoon we took a drive to the town of Jesi, familiar to anyone who drinks Verdicchio which is the local star. On the way we stopped at an archeological dig with remains of a Roman coliseum and walls. We drove by a winery and decided to stop in. The winery,  Tenuta Di Tavignano was a beautiful property with well manicured grounds that would not be out of place in Napa, we stopped in the cantina for a tasting. We started with the 2012 Rose which is made from 100% of the local Lacrima grape. It was the color of cherry juice with a nose of red cherries, a  nice sipping wine. Next wine was the 2012 Pecorino which is the grape varietal. I like to think of this varietal as the starter wines to the more well know Verdicchio. The color was yellow with a nose of lemon and lime with some earthiness and mushroom on the fruit and crisp acidity on the finish. The final wine was the 2012 Villa Torre Verdicchio Classico. It was golden in color with a nose of wild flowers and mowed grass with notes of mango and nice mouth feel with great balance and nice acidity on the finish. The boys bought a case.

After my week stay with the guys I travelled to Perugia. A beautiful Etruscan town in the hills of Umbria, I stayed at a hostel that was a half hour bus red from town. Very rural, in fact in the middle of a farm. While I was there they told me of the local winemaker which was highly recommended. The winery was a couple of kilometers from the hostel so one afternoon I took a bike and headed out. The winery was Goretti and it’s a family run operation but they still manage to crank out a half million bottles of wine a year. When I made it to the winery it was a beehive of activity and there’s nothing like the aroma of manure to whet the appetite for a wine tasting. I was led to the tasting cave and sampled a few wines.

I began with the 2012 Grechetto. It was light yellow with a nose of grapefruit and mango with tropical fruit on the finish as well as firm acids. Not too bad for 3 euro a bottle. The next wine was the 2011 Il Moggio. It had an interesting label that changed color with the temperature of the wine. A white label meant the wine was warm, a red label meant it was cold and a pink label was just right. The color was yellow with a nose of earthy mushroom and oak with earthy fruit and nice acids on the long finish. It spent four months in barrel. The 2011 Fontanella Rosso is s blend of Sangiovese and Merlot. It was dark purple with a nose of grape bubble gum, very juicy  with cherry leather fruit notes. The 2007 Arringatore was the star of the tasting. About 60% Sangiovese and was dark red to black with an nose of violets and pencil shavings. Chewy, silky and concentrated and had a balanced, dusty and long finish. The 2010 Montefalco Rossso “Le Mura Saracene” was dark purple in color with a nose of sweet plums and was rustic and chewy with big tannins on the finish. The final wine was the 2005 Sagratino Montefalco “Le Mura Saracene”. It was black in color with a nose of sweet black cherry, chewy with some dried leaf notes on the fruit, I thought the finish was a little unbalanced.

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