Image via the International Organic Wine Awards website.
Now in its fourth year, the International Organic Wine Awards have rapidly become one of the world’s most high-profile wine tasting events.
Based in Germany, the event’s tasting panel employs a newly developed scoring system that aims for “more transparency and flexibility in wine evaluation.”
We are thrilled to share the news that Pievalta 2012 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore received 95 out of 100 points (gold medal).
And Barone Pizzini NV Franciacorta Brut (the winery’s entry-tier label) received a whopping 98 out of 100 points.
To learn more about this unique event and how it is reshaping the way that wine is evaluated and scored, click here.
And click here for all the award winners and the complete list of scores.
Walking in the vineyards, these days you are enchanted by the scent of the vine flower.
It’s a particular and inebriating aroma that returns every year. It’s shame that you are not able to bottle it!
Fortunately, good weather is predicted for the next few weeks and we are looking forward to a good fruit set.
Pievalta’s classic-method Verdicchio was selected as one of GrapeLive author Kerry Winslow’s “wines of the day” last year. Here’s what he had to say about it. Coming from one of the leading food and wine professionals on the west coast of the U.S., we were thrilled to hear his comments and tasting note.
This sparkler is utterly spellbinding and rivals any top Champagne, I can not begin to tell you how good this fine bubbly really is! I had never had sparkling Verdicchio before, and wow, this is fantastic with wonderful depth, richness, life and complexities on offer, and I can tell you I’ll be drinking as much of this as I can get.
Barone Pizzini has a main property in the “Champagne” region of Italy Franciacorta, but it is this amazing Le Marche estate and it’s Extra Brut Sparkling Verdicchio that has blown my mind.
The Perlugo is made from biodynamic vineyards at the Pievalta estate, in heart of the Castelli di Jesi zone and is handcrafted to perfection. The chalky soils and small yields adds to the dramatic intensity and vibrancy in this elegant bubbly, and Verdicchio comes to life loaded with nutty aromas, citrus, green apples and mineral tones all of which plays well in a fine sparkling wine where these along with pretty yeast, brioche and fig notes come in too, making for a glorious wine. This has to be one of the best kept secrets of the sparkling wine world!
Click here to view his notes on GrapeLive, a great wine resource.
Above: A photo taken recently of vineyards at Pievalta in Castelli di Jesi.
Is the grass on the other side of the fence really greener?
I often ask myself this when I see vineyards where a certain hierarchy is in place, where the grass is cut low like an English lawn and the space between rows is perfectly neat.
In other vineyards, there are sign of green manuring between the rows and orange stripes where herbicide has been applied in between as well.
But if you come to Pievalta this time of year, you won’t find anything like that.
The grass is high between the rows and there are field beans and spontaneous flowers popping up.
We leave the grass high between the rows in order to avoid peronospora. Only in the last few days, because of the bad weather, we have begun to clear the space between the rows in the youngest vineyards and to till under the grass between the rows of the older vineyards.
When you farm organically, you don’t use the chemicals and machinery that are needed to keep the space in between rows so tidy.
Today is the last day of the Palio di San Floriano, a wonderful medieval pageant that takes place every year in the town of Jesi.
Here’s a note on the festival from Silvia Loschi, manager of the Pievalta winery.
This week, Jesi is the backdrop for the famous Palio di San Floriano, a festival that dates back to the thirteenth century.
The modern participants in the pageant include the 21 townships of Vallesina, home to the Castelli di Jesi DOC (where we make our wine).
The festivities — dancing, flag bearing, parades, medieval re-enactments — commemorate the Christian martyr St. Florian, a popular saint during medieval times.
In the festival’s main parade, the mayors of the town play the part of the gonfaloniers and they re-enact their villages’ historic submission to the township of Jesi.
Then the “men-at-arms,” representatives of the municipalities present in the parade, compete for the “Palio” (a banner) in the tournament of the archers.
Image via CamperLife.it
Pievalta 2011 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore 2011
18.5/20 (95/100) points
Pievalta’s Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi perfectly combines the sense of confident expressiveness and poised restraint.
Click here for printable/PDF version of the review.
Above: Le Basi is a company that produces 100% certified organic “zero kilometer” prepared pizza and focaccia doughs.
Tomorrow (Wednesday, March 20), from 4-8 p.m., Pievalta will be pouring its Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi at the organic food store Bìos in the town of Monsano (province of Ancona).
The Bìos store (no website) is located at Via Sant’Ubaldo 67.
The wines will be paired with pizzas that have been prepared with dough produced by Le Basi, a company that specializes in 100% certified organic “zero kilometer” prepared pizza and focaccia doughs. (Click here for the Facebook post with event details.)
The idea behind “zero kilometer” food products is that they are crafted using ingredients sourced as locally as possible. In the case of Le Basi, the wheat used to produce the doughs is harvested in the town of Camerino (province of Macerata) where the certified organic bakery is located.
The doughs can be purchased for home pizza-making and the company also has two pizzerias where they serve pizza by the slice made with their doughs, in Jesi and Osimo (both in the province of Ancona).
After all, what’s the sense of drinking a biodynamically farmed wine if you’re going to pair it with a pizza made with commercially and chemically farmed wheat?
The 2012 Pievalta was bottled today at the winery in Castelli di Jesi using a new bottle format that weighs significantly less than one used for the last vintage.
The new bottle weighs only 460 grams, 90 grams less than the previous (which weighed 550 grams, a reduction of 17 percent).
The new format will help to reduce greenhouse gasses, particularly carbon dioxide, because it reduces the amount of energy needed to produce the bottle and it also reduces the energy needed to transport it.
It’s a small step but an important one for people like us, who have always made the environment and its well-being a priority in our daily work.
Last week at Pievalta, they finished pruning the forty-year-old Verdicchio vineyards around the cellar and this week they have been pruning the young ones (4 years old).
At Pievalta, the Guyot training system is employed and so every year during the pruning, they leave a cane from the previous vintage that they they bind to the training wire.
On Saturday morning they’ll meet with their oenologist to see what’s happening in the vineyard during the winter.
Last week, Pievalta winemaker Alessandro Fenino began tasting the 2012 parcels and revisited the 2010 reserve wine. His notes follow…
We were pleasantly surprised by our tasting of the 2012 base wines. It was a difficult vintage where heat and drought had stressed the youngest vines. And the heat during harvest didn’t bode well for great aromas.
But when we sat down to taste the 2012 wines (one wine for every vineyard parcel), we found that our ugly duckling had become a swan: aromas of fresh flowers and great elegance for this harvest, flavorful in the mouth and refreshing on the palate. At the same time, our lab analysis told us that the wines had good acidity with a pH around 3.1. But lab results don’t tell you if the wine is good or not.
So we decided to age all of the wine produced from our San Paolo vineyard because we feel that it will make for an excellent reserve wine.
We used the wines from our Maiolati Spontini vineyard to create a 2012 Pievalta. The wine is fragrant with spring aromas and it promises to become an irresistbly fresh, easy-to-drink wine.
We also tasted the 2010 San Paolo and decided that it’s ready to be bottled. This spring we’ll bottle this great vintage and the we’ll watch it grow.
At the moment, it’s dominated by citrus and mineral flavors, with brilliant hints of aromatic herbs. In the mouth, the body of the wines is balanced by good acidity and the classic vein of savory flavor that the vineyard gives us each year.
grape grower and winemaker
Castelli di Jesi