Traditional Vintage Collection
Bottled October 2015
It’s a perfect time to take a look at the Italian Verdicchio, while still enjoying warm summer temperatures. Many of us gravitate towards white wines during the warm weather, and look to white wines to pair with lighter summer appetizers and meals. There is a shared perception of white wines being lighter and fresher than many red wines.
Verdicchio is a native Italian variety found mainly in the Marche in east central Italy. It ripens slowly and evenly, yielding depth of flavours while at the same time retaining a clean acidity. That acidity is the reason that Verdicchio is used in the production of many Italian sparkling wines, usually known as spumante.
Verdicchio is one of the few white grapes containing an abundance of phenols (chemical compounds including many flavour characteristics, found mainly in seeds, stems and skins). It is often said of Verdicchio and its high phenolic content that it is red wine disguised as white wine. Verdicchio, like many other white wines, is produced without skin contact under temperature-controlled conditions. Its structure allows it to stand up to well-managed oak ageing.
This Traditional Vintage Verdicchio is a clear yellow straw colour. Aromas include pear; ripe red apple, minerality and honey.
Flavours mimic the aromas, with a honeyed mouthfeel while maintaining an abundance of acidity to provide excellent balance. The freshness of the acidity shows through in the initial flavours, finishing with a hint of Verdicchio’s characteristic nut (almond) flavours, reminiscent of fino sherry.
Verdicchio’s structure makes it suitable for some ageing. At about one year, it is delicious on its own as an aperitif and will carry through the entire meal. Try to keep the wine cool, rather than cold, perhaps using an ice bucket if you are staying on the patio.
Early September usually heralds the beginning of preserving season. I had on hand some freshly prepared lemon/lime rosemary jelly, a tart/sweet combination of summer flavours. The Verdicchio shone with an appetizer consisting of a dollop of jelly, Asiago cheese, with a small amount of minced rosemary, on thin lightly toasted fresh baguette. It is also a fine accompaniment to fish; shellfish; risotto; creamy pasta; soft cheeses.
Prepared for Wine Kitz Ottawa Iris
By Wendy Smyth, Certified Sommelier