I realize that the majority of the posts I've written so far are about white wine. Oh there are a few red essays on my list, but I guess I've got a thing for high acid whites right now. I suppose that it's appropriate for the season as the weather is getting progressively warmer the idea of drinking a cool glass of white just feels right.
The whites that have been on my tasting radar lately seem to all be Italian. In fact, every time I order a glass of wine, or sit down to taste a sample bottle, it just happens to be some interesting little Italian find. It's like the wine tasting stars have aligned and we are in the house of white with Italy rising. Today was indeed more of the same...or stesso as they say in Italian. I was re-tasting the 2006 Fattoria San Lorenzo, Verdicchio di Castelli di Jesi, Classico Superiore with my staff at Tavern today as I have just put it on the wine list by the glass. I originally purchased this wine for a flight night that focused on the wines and food of the Marche region in eastern Italy. I and everyone at that tasting loved this wine so much, that I thought I should expose more people to it.
The Marche is a curving rectangular shaped area on what I call, the upper calf of Italy's boot. The region has a varied geography and climate that includes coastal stretches, river valleys and mountainous expanses, and as a result produces high acid white wines as well as rich, robust reds. Verdicchio is the primary white grape variety grown there and in the hands of the people at San Lorenzo, it really sings.
Fattoria San Lorenzo has been passed down from father to son for generations. The grandfather Enrico Crognaletti is a barrel maker and, in fact, used to pick the trees and build the barrels that were used to vinify his own Verdicchio. His nephew Natalino is now at the healm of their winery and vineyards that are located in the nearby towns of Ostra, Ostra Vetere and Corinaldo. This wine has a couple of years of bottle age on it and is a great example of what Verdicchio can become as it matures. It is almost Burgundian in style and reflects the flavors of younger Verdicchio, but with more concentration. It is full bodied and creamy - but not oaky - with a bright straw yellow coloring with green highlights. It shows intense and continuous aromas of ripe fruit particularly apple and ripe pear with complex layers and nutty minerality.
I'm lucky to have so many venues through which I can feature all of the wines that I love. As for this one, it is becoming a favorite at the bar at Tavern. It's a wine that appeals to both the less experienced as well as the seasoned wine drinker alike. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that no wine is too sophisticated or too "odd" to pour by the glass. I love introducing people to great wines, no matter the variety or place of origin. And although Verdicchio is not all that unusual, anything that gets people to stray from their normal Pinot Grigio wine path is worth the effort.