Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi – tasting report

The following wines were tasted by Raffaele Mosca at the Istituto Marchigiano di Tutela (IMT) event in July 2023.

Five stars ***** – Top wine

Garofoli

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Selezione Gioacchino Garofoli Riserva 2016

Cult winery 

From the estate’s oldest vineyards, this is still a baby: extended aging in stainless steel on the fine lees allowed it to retain noteworthy freshness and purity of fruit. Nectarine and ripe pear mingle with sweet almonds, herbs, and a subtle whiff of gasoline, anticipating a mouthful of juicy orchard fruits enlivened by zesty acids and minerals. Lees-derived nutty flavors complicate dried herbs and smoke on the long and multifaceted finish. Lovely finesse and poise here!  

Importers and retailers: Dalla Terra (United States)

Five stars ***** 

Bucci

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Villa Bucci Riserva 2018 

Cult winery 

Up to 60 year-old vineyards, fermentation with native yeasts and aging in large botti shape a classically-styled Verdicchio Riserva that starts out quite shy and currently only hints at its long-term potential. Grapefruit jam, candied ginger, acacia flowers and menthol dominate the youthfully reticent nose. Still very tight – if especially promising – piercing acidity superimposes the viscous texture and lingers on the minerally and and slightly almondy finish. As always, this wine demands a few years of cellaring to become fully expressive. 

Importers and retailers: Empson and Co. (United States) / BC Liquor (Canada)

Col di Corte

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Vigneto di Tobia 2021

Natural wine producer 

From biodynamically farmed, 45-year-old vineyards in the township of Montecarotto. Spontaneous fermentation and aging in concrete make for an extrovert wine that still manages to retain noteworthy purity and focus. Nutty complexity anticipates flint, salt air, hay, and spontaneous herbs. You get streamlined acidity allied to candied ginger, salt air, and the slightest hint of earthiness adding extra depth to the long finish. Try it with tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms

Importers and retailers: Selected Estates / Palermo Wine Importers (United States)

Marotti Campi

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Salmariano Riserva 2019

Up-and-coming winery 

Morro d’Alba is one of the closest villages to the sea, so it comes as no surprise that Salmariano boasts an extrovert personality. Oyster shell, dried herbs and just a hint of earthy evolution mingle with seductively sweet stone fruits. Open-knit and enticingly creamy, ripe acids cut through the viscous core of fleshy orchard fruits and linger along with lemon pith, herbs and white pepper on the ample finish.  

Importers and retailers: Alberello Wines (United States) / Bibendum (United Kingdom)

Four stars plus – ****+ 

Buscareto

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore Ammazzaconte 2020

Up-and-coming winery 

Spending twelve to fifteen months in 50 hl oak cask after fermentation with native yeasts, this lovely wine may remind you of top Chenin Blanc with its flamboyant display of lanolin, roasted almonds, lemon custard, broom and hay enlivened by a subdued herbal touch. Super-bright and minerally, sharp acids reflect the cool terroir and a touch of oak-derived creaminess keeps everything in check, echoing the long and exceptionally focused finish. 

Importers and retailers: Ideal Wine (United States)

Poderi Mattioli

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore Ylice 2021

Up-and-coming winery 

From a single vineyard lying 350 meters above sea level in the township of Serra de’ Conti, this wine spends about 8 months in stainless steel on the lees before aging. It is expressive and balanced right now yet you get the feeling that the best has yet to come. Reductive smokiness anticipates lemon pith, delicate herbal nuances and a nutty touch. Extremely bright and savory, yet also quite structured, glycerol-derived smoothness underlies lemon zest, lanolin and nectarine, leading to a linear and poised finish.  

Importers and retailers:

Stefano Antonucci

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2020

Cult winery 

Among all the Verdicchios tasted during this event, this is the most similar to a high quality Chablis. With up to 40% of the wine undergoing barrel aging, a terrific mix of creaminess and tension is its calling card. Cinnamon, lemon curd, menthol and flint anticipate layers of ripe stone fruits backed by zingy salinity and complicated by a well-integrated touch of oak spice. It finishes long, pithy and slightly nutty.

Importers and retailers: Indigenous Selections (US)

Broccanera

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Spumante Metodo Classico Dosaggio Zero 2017

Up-and-coming winery 

This cutting-edge sparkling Verdicchio spent over 65 months on the lees before degorgement. Nonetheless , varietal aromas outweigh the leesy nuances, with light touches of walnut oil and roasted almonds framing yellow peach, malic green apple, dried herbs, and flint. It starts taut, zesty and bone-dry, then turns slightly creamier, showing a touch of honeyed richness that amplifies the long and remarkably precise finish. 

Importers and retailers:

Four stars ****

Boccafosca

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Oinochoe 2019

Up-and-coming winery 

From 25 to 30-year-old vineyards, the grapes for this wine are picked at full maturity, and aging occurs in stainless steel for about a year and in bottle for five more months. Rich and pliant, sugar cane and sweet almonds mingle with broom, candied lemon rind, and lavender. Brighter than expected on the palate, mouthwatering salinity lifts the juicy orchard fruits to the core, and a touch of alcoholic warmth empowers the medium-long, nutty finish. 

Importers and retailers:

Casalfarneto

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Grancasale 2020

Up-and-coming winery 

Slightly overripe grapes from high altitude vineyards in the township of Serra de’ Conti yield a cutting-edge expression of Verdicchio that spends approximately six months in large oak casks and stainless steel before bottling. It only shows the slightest hint of late harvest richness, with tangerine, jasmine, golden apple and a kiss of sweet spice. Stimulating acids energize the substantial core of yellow peach and beeswax, leading to a savory finish. 

Importers and retailers: Grapevine Distributors (United States)

Casaleta

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Spumante Dosaggio Zero 2015

Up-and-coming winery 

Another lovely sparkling Verdicchio from vineyards on steep slopes in the township of Serra De’ Conti. Oxidative whiffs of white chocolate and quince anticipate nectarine and lemon custard. It is crisp and refreshing – if quite frothy – with savory minerals cutting through the rich and creamy structure, and fading into a nutty and slightly smoky finish.

Importers and retailers:

Sartarelli

Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Tralivio 2021

Cult winery 

Among the relatively easy-to-find Verdicchio, this is one of the most consistent, showing textbook aromas of lemon peel, sage, jasmine, and flint. Pretty straightforward on the palate, minerals and lively acids backbone a medium-bodied progression with good palate weight and a savory and slightly almondy finish. 

Importers and retailers: H2 Vino (United States) / BC Liquor (Canada) / Slurp Wine (United Kingdom)

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