For September’s #ItalianFWT, we’ll be exploring this amazing white grape of the Marche region, one of the most beautiful regions on the Adriatic coast. In our previous episodes, we discovered Trebbiano di Soave from Veneto (Verdicchio this month) and Trebbiano di Lugana (or Turbiana) from Lombardia, the former two being genetically identical, whereas the latter is more correctly termed as a biotype. In any case, it has been fun, not to mention interesting, to look at these grapes and now to connect the dots with this third!
This is a wine that always has lees ageing for added texture and complexity. Some have a bit of oak ageing while others are completely in stainless steel. There’s Castelli dei Jesi Verdicchio (Classico/Superiore) the region closer to the sea and on the hillsides which gives pleasant floral and delicate fruit aromas in its youth, with more Riesling-like characteristics of flint, sponge toffee and even the kerosene with ageing. Verdicchio di Matelica which is grown higher into the mountains will have higher acidity, alcohol and body with a little more austerity.
My wine was a Verdicchio di Matelica from Bisci. I was able to taste this producer’s wine while in Marche, that being my first time to actually have opportunity to taste Matelica wines, and then was excited to see them here in market upon my return. In the early 70’s the Bisci brothers purchased some land entirely within the Matelica region with the second generation now running things. Although they also make some red wine, the majority of their land is planted to Verdicchio. Certified organic since 2016, they number all their bottles. In wine circles we often talk about “tasting terroir”. This is very true about Bisci’s Verdicchio di Matelica. My friend Ian D’Agata said this about them:
Bisci is a heavyweight in the small Verdicchio di Matelica denomination. Size and quality go hand in hand here, and Bisci’s Verdicchio wines are among the best of the Marche. I especially like the fact that they are very faithful to the Matelica terroir: steely and refined, with a dry Riesling-like quality to them.
Upon uncorking the bottle, I immediately caught a whiff of a flinty petrol aroma. After pouring it in my glass and giving it a good swirl, the aroma was full of green and yellow apple, Anjou pear, yellow flowers, even hints of pineapple but still with the mineral nuances. On the palate that lees ageing was evident as it was very textural and almost tannic on my palate which lent itself to a full bodied wine. More flavours of yellow apple and pear, great minerality and of course, bitter almond. This wine was as good as I remembered it in Le Marche and I couldn’t wait to have it with my food!
I put a lot of thought into this meal, and although not everything was a perfect match, the meal itself was a winner and my soon-to-be-son-in-law was impressed! He was excited to try the pairing as much as I was. I wanted to do fish, I really did, but instead I found a recipe for chicken with a caprese salad twist. It turned out amazingly, along with the portabella mushrooms with goat cheese and bacon. The mushroom, potatoes and grilled asparagus turned out to be the best of the pairings with the chicken just plain good on its own!
My fellow #ItalianFWT’s have been busy! Check out what they’ve discovered about Verdicchio and the land of Marche, then join us for our Twitter chat, Saturday, September 5, 9 am MDT (11 am EDT, 10 am CDT, 8 am PDT)
Wendy from A Day In the Life on the Farm shares Baked Tomatoes Marchigiano Style and a Verdicchio Wine.
Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares Cascatelli, a Brand New Pasta Shape, plus Pievalta Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2017.
Pinny from Chinese Food & Wine Pairing shares Querciantica Verdicchio – A Gem from La Marche’s Self-Made Wineamaker Angela Piotti Velenosi.
Terri at Our Good Life shares Scallops and Pasta and a Beautiful Verdicchio.
Robin at Crushed Grape Chronicles shares Le Marche Italy – Verdicchio and beyond
Nicole at Somm’s Table shares Cantine Belisario Cambrugiano Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva with Brodetto alla Recanatese
Gwendolyn at Wine Predator shares “Verdicchio? Is That A Vegetable? Does It Go With Carbonara?”
Thanks for joining us! See you next month. Salute!