Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Wines Of Italy’s Marche Region A Refreshing Surprise

The Marche wine region of Italy has famous neighbors, like Tuscany and Umbria, but this picturesque rural area is coming into its own with captivating wines.

Wines of Le Marche Gaining Recognition

Le Marche is tucked between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea on the east coast of Italy. Tuscany and Umbria lie to the west, but this region with untamed coastlines and stunning medieval towns is creating a reputation for enjoyable and unique wines.

The soils of Le Marche are rich in silicon and limestone and the climate is fresh and sunny. We recently had our first taste of Marche wine and came away impressed. The wines are palate-pleasing and good values.

Colli Ripani 2014 Trebbiano IGT

Colli Ripani is a collective of 330 small, local growers. When they say small, they mean it! Each vineyard is between two and four hectares. Today the winery produces about 50,000 cases including organic and vegan wines.

The Trebbiano is bright yellow in the glass. It is a light bodied wine with a floral aroma. On the palate it has delicate citrus flavor notes. It’s fresh and vibrant. In short, a glass that was quite welcome during the recent hot spell.

Wines of Rio Maggio

Rio Maggio 2012 Falerio Pecorino DOC

Rio Maggio wines are the dream of Graziano Santucci. Graziano dreamed of owning a parcel of land near his hometown of Montegranaro. At the time most of the workers in the area went off to work in the shoe factory or at farms in other villages.

Graziano loved the land, the vines and his fruit and olive trees. When he passed, he left the hillside to his son and daughter-in-law. Simone and Tiziana built upon Graziano’s vision and now create expressive wines of the terroir and Montegranaro has a thriving agricultural economy.

That terroir comes through in the Pecorino, a grape that was near extinction at one point. The 2013 Rio Maggio is a beautiful wine, a clear straw yellow in the glass. There is a whiff of anise and smoky fruit on the nose.

On the palate the flavors run from citrus zest to lime. There is a taste of yeast, a result of eight to 10 months on the lees. This is a tasty complex wine that costs only $20 per bottle.

The ideal pairing for the Pecorino? Try a swordfish steak. With an Italian wine, pasta wouldn’t be out of place either.

This was our first “visit” to Le Marche, but we intend to become much more familiar with their exquisite wines.

Note: I had the chance to taste these wines through the Wine Studio online education program. The wines are available through Wines of Marche.

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