House: Tenuta Fionia
Name: Occhio Verde Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
Origin: Marche, Italy
Price: 81 DKK/10,90 EUR/13,40 USD on winefamly.dk (market price: 155 DKK/20,80 EUR/25,60 USD)
Marche as a wine region
Le Marche is located on the east coast of central Italy. It is often considered to be a hidden gem of Italian wine making. This is mostly due to the fact because it is surrounded/hidden by Abruzzo from the south and Umbria and Tuscany from the west. Le Marche is known for its beautiful coastline, which attracts thousands of tourists a year to the white sandy beaches, towering cliffs and clear blue waters. Regarding wine, though, it is farther inland where things get really interesting.
Le Marche produces a large variety of wines including 13 varieties of wine carrying the D.O.C. (Denominazione di Origine Controllata) label. Many of these wines are little known outside of Italy but visitors to the region have a pleasant surprise when they try the local wine produced by many small aziendas and cantinas.
The following varieties of vines are the most common, growing well on the gentle slopes of the hilly region: Montepulciano d’Abruzzo, Sangiovese, Ciliegiolo, Pinot nero and bianco, Verdicchio, Trebbiano, Malvasia of Tuscany, Vernaccia Nera and Maceratino.
Other vines grown in selected areas are genetic variants of Pinot Nero (Pinot Noir), Pinot Grigio (pinot gris), Pinot Bianco (Pinot Blanc).
Although many commercially successful wines are produced in Castelli di Jesi (the wine I am tasting today comes from this DOC), in the hills west of Ancona, it is in the mountainous terrain of Verdicchio di Matelica that the most distinguished wines are made, with a fuller mouthfeel and greater complexity than those from Jesi. In terms of overall quality though, Verdicchio in all its forms undoubtedly ranks among Italy’s finest whites, with quality steadily improving for many years as producers have realised the grape’s potential for making interesting wines that are capable of developing in bottle. Some good sparkling wine is also produced from Verdicchio, using both the Champagne method and the tank method of fermentation.
Tenuta Fionia, Occhio Verde Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2014
This wine has a beautiful, rich yellow color. In the nose we get intense notes of apricots, elder-flower and freshly cut grass. The taste can be described as very rich and juicy. Tasting notes are confirming the nose with addition almonds and red orange. This wine has very long and smooth finish.
This is my first encounter with any kind of wine from Marche region. Due to the fact, that the region is quite unknown, I did not know what to expect. I was truly surprised by this nice white wine. I am a fan of rich white wines but my only previous experience with Italian white wine was dry and light Soave so this was a very pleasant experience for me. Great for sushi or seafood.