Verdicchio is one of Italy’s greatest native white grape varieties. It is named for its green-tinged berries as Verde is the Italian word for green. Verdicchio is the signature grape of Marche which is located in east-central Italy and borders the Adriatic Sea. Castelli di Jesi is the most famous and important appellation here for producing Verdicchio wines. Within Verdicchio dei Castella di Jesi, there is a classico subzone which represents the historic growing area for Verdicchio. The two Verdicchio wines from Pievalta that I tasted are all from this classico subzone with also the superiore designation indicating more stringent production criteria.
Verdicchio是意大利原生白葡萄品種中的佼佼者。她因其葡萄果實呈綠色而得名，Verde在意大利語中即指綠色。Verdicchio是位於意大利中部偏東，瀕臨亞德里亞海的馬爾凱地區的招牌葡萄，而Castelli di Jesi則是此地出品Verdicchio葡萄酒的最著名及重要的產區。在該產區內，還有一個經典（classico）子產區，代表了歷史悠久的Verdicchio產地。本次品試的兩款來自Pievalta酒莊的Verdicchio葡萄酒均來自經典子產區，且還都是特級(superiore) 級別，表示其適用更為嚴格的生產標準。
Pievalta is a relatively young winery born in 2002. It is one of the pioneers in Marche in biodynamic farming and became the first certified biodynamic winery in 2008. Their mission is to give value to the great potential of Verdicchio as one of Italy’s most important indigenous grape varieties. From my tasting of the two fantastic Verdicchio wines, it is obvious that they have achieved their goal successfully.
Pievalta Tre Ripe Verdicchio dei Castella di Jesi Classico Superiore 2020
This is a wine made from a blend of grapes from three hillside vineyards located in Maiolati Spontini, Montecarotto and Monte Folonica. “Tre Ripe” in local language means “side”. The altitude of vineyards range from 200 to 350 meters above sea level with calcareous clay and sandstone soils. The wine shows pale lemon colour with a hint of greenish hue. The nose is quite intensive with white followers, citrus, yellow apple, nectarine with stony mineral and some yeasty and fennel sensation. One palate, it is dry with medium plus body and a slight oily texture. With only medium level of alcohol, the palate is quite concentrated and well balanced by its high but soft acidity. The aftertaste is long and savoury with bitter citrus and almond, aromatic herbs and beautiful minerality.
此酒以位於Maiolati Spontini、Montecarotto和Monte Folonica三處山坡上的葡萄園所產的葡萄混釀而成，“Tre Ripe”在當地話中的意思即為（山坡）側面。這些葡萄園海拔高度為200 – 350米，擁有石灰質粘土和沙石土壤。此酒呈淺檸檬黃色並帶少許綠色色調。其香氣頗為集中，有白花、柑橘、黃蘋果、油桃及石頭礦物和一些酵母、茴香的氣味。入口乾爽，酒體中上並稍帶油性質地。雖然酒精度僅為中等，但其口感頗為集中並由柔和的高酸度所平衡支撐。餘韻長且富有滋味，苦橙、杏仁、芳香草本和漂亮的礦物感交相輝映。
As a soft, fresh and savoury wine, it is a fanatic wine to pair with a wide range of seafood and savoury dishes. The olive all'ascolana from Marche (an appetizer of fried olives stuffed with meat) is always a classic pairing. Fried squid (calamari), Japanese sashimi, sushi and tempura, Cantonese steam fish, crispy Tofu with salt and pepper and deep-fried Bombay Duck are all on my recommendation list.
作為一款柔和、清爽且具包容性的白葡萄酒，她是用來搭配多種海鮮和鹹香菜肴的上佳之選。馬爾凱地區的olive all'ascolana （一種當地的特色小吃，以橄欖塞入肉餡後油炸製成）是其經典搭檔。酥炸魷魚（Calamari），日式魚生、壽司、天婦羅，粵式蒸魚、椒鹽豆腐及椒鹽九肚魚等都是筆者的推薦之選。
Pievalta Domine Verdicchio dei Castella di Jesi Classico Superiore Chiesa del Pozzo 2018
The Domine, on the other hand, is more powerful and structured Verdicchio. It is a single cru wine made from grapes harvested from the Chiesa del Pozzo vineyard in Maiolati Spontini. The altitude of vineyard is 200 meters above sea level with calcareous clay soils. The vines are older planted since 1965. The wine has a beautiful pale gold colour. When just uncorked, the nose is a bit closed and with some time in the glass, the wine gradually delivers the bouquets of acacia flower, Golden Delicious Apple, ripe stone fruits (nectarine and apricot) with a hint of toasty and honey sensation. The signature aroma of fennel and cereal for Verdicchio is also prominent. On palate, it is full-bodied with fairly high phenolic oily texture. High alcohol with great concentration of fruits balanced by the high and mouth-watering acidity and incredible steely minerality. The lingering finish is long and complex with citrusy and yellow fruits accompanied by fennel, almond, honey and mineral salinity. I would expect this wine will continue to evolve over the next 5 – 10 years to develop more complexity. A serious effort!
品試的第二款酒 – Domine則在風格上有所不同，是更為強勁和富有結構的Verdicchio葡萄酒。 這款單一園酒以位於Maiolati Spontini的Chiesa del Pozzo葡萄園採摘的葡萄釀成。該園海拔200米，富含石灰質粘土土質，其葡萄樹自1965起栽種，故樹齡較老。此酒呈現漂亮的淺金黃色。剛開瓶時，香氣有些封閉，於杯中一段時間後，逐漸展現其芬芳：洋槐花、金冠蘋果、成熟的油桃和杏子等核果，並帶有些烤麵包和蜂蜜味，而Verdicchio招牌的茴香和穀物类香味也十分明顯。此酒口感飽滿，有較高的酚類油性質感。高酒精度和十分集中的果味由令人滿口生津的高酸度和金屬礦物感所平衡。餘韻中的柑橘和黃色果實伴隨茴香、杏仁、蜂蜜和礦物鹹味，悠長而複雜。此酒估計可以繼續陳年5-10年以演化出更多複雜性，稱得上是一款力作！
For the table, cooked seafood with some creamy sources would be perfect for this wine instead of raw seafood. It has the great concentration and sufficient body to pair with pizza, pasta, risotto and white meat dishes. Hainanese chicken rice, Crispy Roast Pork Belly and pan fried pork bun or dumplings are some of my favourite picks of Chinese cuisine for this wine. Hope you may try and enjoy it as well. Salute!