Fruity & Alluring: Marche’s Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi
Located between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, the eastern Italian region of Marche is known for its medieval villages, limestone cliffs and sandy coves. Birthplace of the operatic composer Gioacchino Rossini, it is also a region worth noting for its wine. Elegant and fruit forward, these wines are made from a specific white grape variety found in the area, which give them their iconic and unique character.
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Doc is known as one of Italyʼs great white wines for its full unmistakable character and, maybe most of all, for its surprising versatility. It is produced specifically in the two nearby provinces of Macerata and Ancona. A first tasting of the wine during the spring just following the harvest offers a Verdicchio which is young, fragrant and delicate. Yet, when it has been left longer to finish in the wine cellar, usually aged in steel tanks or sometimes in large wooden barrels, and then bottled in the summer or late summer months, that is when the Verdicchio comes alive with its most balanced flavors.
This is a wine with several distinctions, each reflecting the authenticity of the land it was produced in and the emblematic character of this eclectic vine. Look for five types of Verdicchio: Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Passito and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Spumante.
Known as a white wine with complex character and varied nuances, it has become the most notable wine of the region reaffirming itself this year with a continued increase in exports and taking its place as the top wine exported around the world from the Marche, a region which saw a 10% increase in its wine exports in 2018 alone. Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi presents with crystal clear, pale yellow hues with hints of light green. To the nose it is intense with predominant notes of banana and hawthorn, while on the palate itʼs crisp and full-bodied, with aromas which bring to mind fresh peaches and exotic fruits. Its perfect pairing is with fish dishes, especially those summery ones prepared on the grill or in foil, but it easily lends itself to pasta dishes, like tagliatelle with white truffle, and cheeses, such as the typical local Marchigiana Formaggio di Fossa dop or even a Pecorino Toscano.