2019 Colleleva Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi

Year: 2019
Appellation: Marche
Country: Italy
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
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Winery Notes:
As with every region in Italy, the Marche is a world all unto itself. On Italy’s less traveled Adriatic coast, in between Emilia-Romagna and Abruzzo, the Marche is relatively sparsely populated, and largely composed of gently rolling hills, green with agriculture, that end along steep limestone bluffs on the coast. This is the home of the Verdicchio grape, whose name comes from the root verde, describing both the greenish hue of the grapes and the resulting wine. The Castelli di Jesi DOC is one of the largest of the zones in which Verdicchio is grown and surrounds the town of Jesi and its ancient fortifications.

The vineyards of Colleleva (Colle “hill”, and si Leva, “rises”) lie on the heights of the Marche: about halfway between the Apennine mountains and the coastline of the Adriatic Sea. The combination of eastern sun exposure and the cooling winds from the Adriatic provide an optimal microclimate for balancing ripeness with fresh acidity in the grapes. Verdicchio, also known as Trebbiano di Soave, has been cultivated in the Marche for many centuries. It is capable of making vibrantly fresh and crisp white wines that are a wonderful accompaniment to seafood. The Riserva bottlings can age gracefully. From Colleleva we have a wine in the former camp. During a tasting trip in the Marche, their stainless steel tank vinified Verdicchio was one of the stars among many, many wines tasted. The perfume is entrancing—at once fresh and rounded, and typical of the grape. There is absolutely no pretension. Pure Verdicchio, vinified and aged with no makeup, with a bit of prickly CO2 left in the bottle to keep it sprightly.

The rare Lacrima di Morro d’Alba–presumably named for the teardrop-like shape of its berries– nearly went extinct before being revived by a handful of vignerons in the 1980s. Lucky for us, they salvaged this gem of a variety, which reaches an aromatic expression that, next to any other red wine, feels like stepping into technicolor for the first time.