One of Italy’s top award winning ‘WHITE’ wines, if not the ‘TOP’, is produced from one of its most versatile natives, VERDICCHIO, like that’s VER-DIC-YO. You see, it’s the phonetical ‘YO’ that starts to show off this grapes ‘STREET & ROOTS’ feel.
When you dig down into this variety’s background, not surprisingly you unearth immense roots spanning multiple regions and countless centuries. For those of you like us, thirsty for serious vine sapping knowledge, look absolutely no further than the awesome inspiring tome, ‘Wine Grapes’ by Robinson, Harding & Vouillamoz. Or try Ian D’Agata’s super new chronicle ‘Native Wine Grapes of Italy’. Indeed more about these thirst quenching works later.
VERDICCHIO, being one of Italy’s international WHITE chart toppers for the last 50 years, naturally there’s more than one town laying claim to being its home. Interestingly, while these little green natives are called VERDICCHIO in Le Marche in Veneto they’re known as TREBBIANO DI SOAVE. One and the same, the experts say. And believe it or not there are a few other ‘monikers’ that could be added to the list. Non-believers, run the DNA profiles and see for yourself.
The fact that this grape has countless tags might suggest an identity crisis. Far from it. This relatively late ripener, which appreciates a little extra hang time, has simply proven itself to be one seriously VERSATILE fruit. And we’re not just talking about differences derived from ventilated hills, plains and soil compositions. We’re also talking about STYLE……WINE STYLE. From DRY to SWEET to SPARKLING, what grape other than VERDICCHIO can offer this kind of versatilty ? And yes, on this occasion we are talking about VERDICCHIO….. from Le Marche !
To give ourselves half a chance of understanding what this gem is potentially worth, we took a look at this selection of Marchigiani:
1. Colonnara -Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Metodo Classico Brut ‘Ubaldo Rosi’ Riserva 2007
2. Sartarelli – Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Tralivio 2011
3. Garofoli – Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Podium 2011
4. Villa Bucci -Verdicchio 2010.
5. Fattoria la Monacesca – Verdicchio di Matelica Mirum Riserva 2011
6. Umani Ronchi – Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Classico Plenio Riserva 2010
7. Fazi Battaglia – Arkesia Muffo di San Sisto 2010
Lip smacking as our tasting was, in simple terms, what can we say about Verdicchio that hasn’t already been said…..how about it is ‘Versatility Bottled !’ Fresh, Floral, Fruit, Mineral. Dry, Sweet and Sparkling. OK….. maybe it’s all been said before. Therefore, if anything let’s just underline it “ Versatility Bottled ”
As it happens, this tasting brought to mind another versatile master at work…..BECK…and his ‘Cycle & Morning‘ track from his eclectic album ‘Morning Phase‘. As the song goes, we recommend you ‘let down your defences’…. it’s time for some Verdicchio Versatility to populate your cellar shelves.