Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Maurizio Marchetti Verdicchio

This is an exciting time for wine lovers. The more I study the modern era, the more I see how modernization in production worldwide and educational efforts in oenology at UC Davis and elsewhere have led to an evolution in the tastes of the American wine buying populace. Gone are the days of White Zinfandel and the acceptance of the "popular palate" as a commercial goal over and opposed to the production of better quality wines. In all honesty America has grown up in its wine appreciation and wants more now than earlier generations would have.

So we have stated previously that Europe was devastated by World War II and that this modern era in winemaking began around 1960. Italian efforts are said to have begun in earnest in the 1970's with experimentation and innovation blossoming in the 1980's. The 1990's saw an increase in consistency and the further development of lesser wine regions. We have also said that America likes ripeness in grapes to the point that hangtime in vineyards is extended so the water in the grapes evaporates somewhat leaving a concentrated sugar content. America is the world's largest wine market and producers around the world do try to satisfy its palate.

Now we enter into the discussion the Maurizio Marchetti family, Verdicchio makers for generations in the classico (central) region of Marches, and the producers of Castelli di Jesi, the most popular white table wine in this store in the $15 range. This effort is a pale straw in color with a delicate and persistent nose and fresh harmonic, slightly bitter flavor. It is intended for seafood but is so much more than just a seafood wine. Its most striking feature may be the opulent fruit component sheathed within its dry dinner wine format.

Marchetti has now released Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Cavaliere... Reserve Verdicchio, if you will. It follows in the tradition of German Spatlese Trocken wines first introduced to America in the 1980's and unfortunately doomed to commercial failure. We were not ready at that time for such flavorful rich dry white wines, being all too consumed with our own California Chardonnays. Riesling of this quality also conflicted with the popular perceptions of the time; Blue Nun, Black Tower, etc.

Cavaliere, being a dry late harvest wine, is again straw in color but with more green and yellow hues. Its apricot/buttered toast flavors are intense and invigorating with fineness (finesse) being what separates it from others. Again this wine is intended for seafood and salads but, because it is so fine, hors d'oeuvres would showcase it well.

So why are Maurizio Marchetti's Verdichios so special? The fruit is all "free run". The grapes are not crushed. Maurizio believes crushing reduces the sweetness of the fruit in Verdicchio so the whole grapes in the fermentation tank crush themselves by their weight. Maurizio then crushes what is left, about 50% of his produce, and sells it to fortified wine makers so it will not be labeled as Verdicchio.

If you read this and would like to try Cavaliere call 770-287-WINE(9463) or email wineguy@bellsouth.net to order. The wine is not presently in the store. Mention this article and claim 10% off the suggested $21.99 retail. We really want you all to try this one!


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