Monacesca Verdicchio Di Matelica 2015 750ml
Occasionally you open a wine and a few minutes after you pour the first glass it suddenly dawns on you just how extraordinary it is, and you wonder why you didn’t buy a magnum of it. I’m of the belief that context is a momentous factor in discerning whether a beverage is merely “good” as opposed to “pleasurable” or even “life-affecting,” but those are emotional statements rather than qualitative. It takes a wine that combines both approaches for me to think of it as monumental in the grand scheme of things. And the 2015 La Monacesca Verdicchio di Matelica is one of those wines. And it’s only $20.
A burst of transcendental illumination hit me a few weeks ago after we’d stopped for drive-thru fried chicken on the way home from a really long day at work. It was one of those “jeez, it’s only May, can it already be this hot?” Dallas evenings, so we set ourselves up in the backyard (it was at the trailing edge of pre-mosquito season) and pulled a bottle of Monacesca Verdicchio from the fridge.
Now, Verdicchio is an underappreciated grape from central Italy’s Marche region that thrives in two communes: Verdicchio dei Castello di Jesi, and Verdicchio di Matelica, (that’s as in Matelica, the village, not Metalica, the band)(it’s always useful keeping the vowels straight.) The wine is crisp and fresh, yet has a pleasingly luxurious weight to it. No lack of complexity here on the palate, with an almondy-orange tinge to it, all above a minerality that’ll make it work with pretty much anything non-red meat you’d want to serve it with. Fried chicken, yes, scallops, or just bring a cold bottle along with you to Khao Noodle (Fitzhugh and Bryan) and see how well it works with the inspiring Laotian cuisine (and no corkage fee!) For me, this all pushes this wine over from “pretty good juice) over the velvet roped “extraordinary wine” territory. And for $20? A no brainer supreme!
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CLASSIFICATION : Verdicchio di Matelica DOC
GRAPE VARIETIES : Verdicchio 100%
GROWING AREA : Contrada Monacesca, in the comune of Matelica
VINEYARD AREA : Ca. 17 hectares
VINEYARD ASPECT : North – South
SOILS PROFILE : Predominantly clayey
TRAINING SYSTEM : Vertically-trained arched or double-arched cane
VINEYARD AGE : 50% 30 years old – 50% 10 years old
VINEYARD DENSITY : Ca. 1,800-2,500 vines/hectare
VINEYARD YIELD : Ca. 3 kg/vine
VINEYARD ALTITUDE : Ca. 400 metres
HARVEST PERIOD : First ten days in October
VINIFICATION PROCESS : Hand picking of the grapes, then immediate light pressing with no use of SO2, followed by 12-15-day fermentation at 20°C in stainless steel. The wine rested on the fine less until spring and underwent natural malolactic fermentation in late spring. It was released one year after harvest date.
SENSORY PROFILE : This is our most distinctive version of Verdicchiodi Matelica. It needs a bit of time for its characteristics to mature and thus to reveal itself as a wine of exuberant aromatic richness, yielding notes of anise, citron, and dried fruit. Powerful and full-bodied on the palate, it maintains its remarkable concentration on through a very lengthy finish. The mine- rally edge to the finish reflects its terroir and makes it a good comple- ment to elaborate recipes with fish; its firm structure will go very well with fresh cheeses and light meats.
SERVING TEMPERATURE : Ca. 10-12°C
PRODUCTION QUANTITY : Ca. 120,000 750 ml bottles
CELLARING POTENTIAL : 5-7 years, with a potential for significant additional complexity