I have to tell you all about this amazing lunch we just had at Osteria Morinini and Velenosi Family Wines. Velenosi is located on the outskirts of the town of Ascoli Piceno, in the Marche region of Central Italy. A bit of their history:
Beginning 30 years ago with limited resources and minimal experience, the indefatigable Angela Velenosi, through sheer determination and perseverance, pushed the boundaries of expectations of the entire region. Holding vineyards as varied as the geography in which they lie, her portfolio is a confluence of diverse terroirs, varieties and cultures, unified under the maritime climate and her will to succeed.
From Italy to New York, Marco Germani, export manager for Velenosi Wines, directed and relaxed wine tasting over delicious paired plates at Osteria Morini. See below a few tasting notes and my experiences with the wines that we tasted:
1.Passerina Brut: To welcome us they poured an sparkling ! And what an sparkling… not sweet at all. With olfactory notes of orange and white flowers and hint of salt and minerality. A sparkling with character. On the palate high acidity, fresh and crispy, not a hint of swetness, no persistence, a very refreshing Brut. 12% of alcohol and made out of 100 % Passerina, the local white grape of the Marche, Italy. Highly recommended by WineDivaa, after tasting this all I could think about was ‘I want like 10 bottles of this bubbly to go!’
Let’s dig in to the whites.
2. Pecorino Villa Angela DOCG 2017 : On the eyes is a very clean and clear pale yellow white wine, and of course is like that as they control temperature to have a clean wine, taking care of the fermentation of course. They microfilter the wine and is immediately bottled to keep the aromas. Olfactory notes of thyme and herbs, white flowers and yellow fruits. On the palate lemon, orange, long finish. Pecorino is a sweet grape itself, around the 50s this grape was almost dismissed since its a very difficult grape. In 2011 they got the DOCG and that means that is a very strict production. The Pecorino grown at la Marche region has a more rounded flavor compared to the Pecorino grape grown in other regions of Italy.
3.Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi 2017:” They’re making the wine up north. Olfactory notes of nuts. On the palate minerality and typical almond finish
and after a deliciously paired set of salads, we move onto pasta and of course Reds…
4. Lacrima di Morro d’Alba 2017: 100% Lacrima grape and this varietal only grows in the Marche region. Their vines only age 25 years. Strong red flower aromaticity on this wine. I was very surprised to perceive a lot of smells of rose and violeta on the olfactory notes almost reminiscent of a white wine. Lacrima means tears. When you taste this wine you will feel the tannins and since you are not expecting it from the bouquet, it will blow your mind. Is a complex red wine. Since production is less than 1 million bottles I’ll say whenever you come across a wine bottle of this don’t hesitate and go for it.
5.Ludi 2014: Let me tell you a bit of the name of this wine:
Ludi comes from the Latin ‘Ludus’ which means “play” to underline the strong bond between wine, pleasure and enjoyment.
Ludi is a robust Italian red blend from the Velenosi family. 85% Montepulciano, 7.5% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7.5 % Merlot. Is a silky red blend with a full body and personality. If you’re into bold Cabs from California I’m sure you’ll like this one.
6. Roggio del Filare 2014: Without a doubt one of my favorites. 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese. Does it get more Italian than that? A bouquet of blackberries, “tabaco and channel”, soft on the palate, moderate tannins and a never ending finish, you can feel the oak barrel on this one, my type of wine.
7.Visciole (dessert wine): It is a tradition of the Marche farmers receiving you at their homes to enjoy an artisan sweet wine like this. Lacrima seletzione. Is was not mass market product, but Velenosi captured the tradition and bottle it. Resembles a Cherry wine which I enjoyed the more with a bit of Brut.
I have learned so much about the Italian region Marche today and I hope you try some of these wines. See below for more info: