The opening seminar of the TerroirMarche fair/conference is devoted to Marche wines as an expression of Apennine viticulture.
Enojournalist Paolo De Cristofaro is the moderator. Matelica growers Collestefano and Valturio are the two presenters (and wines in the tasting flight).
Adriano Galli of Valturio sits to Paolo’s left, Fabio Marchionni of Collestefano to his right.
With the influence of the Adriatic, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is rightfully considered a maritime appellation.
Matelica, on the other hand, is located in a north-south running valley surrounded on either side by the central Apennines.
Diurnal temperature variation gives the appellation a continental climate.
Six townships in Matelica appellation.
In 2011 Matelica became DOCG.
Min. 12 months for reserve aging.
Great diversity in subsoils.
Miocene marl and limestone and clay.
Higher acidity and lower alcohol than in Jesi.
In blind tastings, even experienced tasters mistake the wines for Chablis and Riesling.
The appellation is widely known for its excellent price-quality ratio.
Collestefano, organic estate since its beginnings in 1995.
On average, 25-year-old vines.
80-100,000 bottles annually.
Wines in flight: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2007.
Paolo’s metaphors for these wines are “a fencer” and “a Yul Brynner as Pharaoh.”
Crudo, shellfish, coniglio in prochetta… great pairings, says Paolo.
(My favorites were the 2014 and 2007 but the 2014, considering the challenges of the vintage, is “heroic.” Others also had high praise for the 2014. Such great mineral expression in the 2007.)
The Valturio winery is located in Macerata Feltria (in the Google map above; Pesaro and Urbino province).
Currently converting to organic farming.
Amphitheater of vineyards. Sangiovese is the primary grape. With some vines planted using alberello training.
Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon in the lower part of the vineyards.
Viognier, Manzoni, and Moscato also planted. Also, Pinot Noir for a classic method.
Mostly marl and some clay soils.
“The thing that really strikes you when you visit the estate,” says Paolo, “is the light.”
The light of Montefeltro.
And this abundance of light helps the fruit in the final stages of ripening because ripening begins late there (because of the high altitude?).
Vintages in flight: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Historically, there had been viticulture there. But in the 1950s, vines had been grubbed up.
Valturio estate was built in the 1700s. Adriano married into the family that owned it and he liked the idea of the challenge of recreating a winemaking estate there.
Integrated landscape — woods, vineyards etc. — is the great appeal of the estate. In the 1980s, Sangiovese was planted.
Current release is 2010. These wines were intended as expressions of Sangiovese for aging.
“A woodsy minerality,” says Paolo as descriptor. A unique expression of Sangiovese.
Paolo’s metaphor is “cyclist.” With energy and strength. The wine can even be a little too acidic when it doesn’t have the sweetness of its fruit.
Really interesting to her Adriano Galli speak about his experience as a winemaker in a place where there was no viticulture and no local winemaking tradition when he started making wine there.
It seems that nearly everyone agrees this is wonderfully singular, unique expression of Sangiovese (I agree… I loved the 2006 in particular but overall, these wines really impressed me with their originality).