This past month I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to attend a few Italian wine trade tastings in the Boston area. I’ll be sharing many of my great picks from these events in upcoming blogs including today’s feature on Rosso Conero from Le Marche wine region of Italy.
The Wine Region ~ Le Marche
Le Marche is located in the central eastern part of Italy and is the 2nd hilliest region after Umbria. Its capital is Ancona, which runs down to Monte Conero, the highest cliff on the east coast. It forms what is known as the elbow of Italy or . Le Marche is dominated by mountains and hills and is a rather undeveloped region compared to others. These are the ones that I love discovering. Beautiful rolling hills, medieval villages and a long, rather flat coastline along the Adriatic.
Many of the vineyards are located inland on the hills that climb up towards the Apennines. As you can imagine located along the Adriatic the climate here is Mediterranean with sea breezes making ideal conditions for grape growing.
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The Grape ~ Montepulciano
The Conero wine area of Le Marche is entirely based on red wines. Here is where M shines. In Conero you’ll find the Rosso Conero DOC and Conero DOCG. Typical characteristics of M include a deep ruby color in the glass. On the palate they are full-bodied and rather fruity with cherry notes and tend to be higher in alcohol with ripe tannins.
The Wines ~ Rosso Conero
These wines I’m sharing today come from both the Rosso Conero DOC and Conero DOCG. These wines require a minimum of 85% M plus an optional addition of other reds from the region. Many probably think of the Abruzzo wine region when they think of M, but those produced in Conero in Le Marche are well worth seeking out.
Started in 1871 by Antonio Garofoli. Today the winery is operated up to the 5th generation of family members. A winery large in size producing about 2 million bottles annually and 60% of it is exported worldwide. Although it is large in size these wines that I’m sharing today show that really large wineries can still produce great wines. Produced in their winery these wines really demonstrated to me the potential of M in the Conero area of Le March.
The 2015 Garofoli Rosso Conero “” DOC Montepulciano from their “Linea Famiglia” line of wines is solely produced from the Mo grape. It’s aged 1 year in traditional oak casks. Ruby red in color. This wine had good fruit with ripe plums and cherries, bright acidity and silky, elegant tannins.
The 2012 Garofoli Rosso Conero “Grosso ” DOCG Montepulciano is from their “ ” line and is definitely a step up from the previous wine. Dark ruby in color also produced from 100% . This wine was intense and on the nose. Aged about 18 months in French barriques about 10-15% new. A very round, fruit forward, structured and complex wine with ripe plums and cherry with notes of vanilla from the wood aging. Even more elegant than the last. My pick of the two! I love when a wine changes in the glass the longer you sip it.
This winery was established in 1882 by the Terni family. Located at the foothills of Monte Conero on a hilltop about 1 mile from the Adriatic coast. Antonio and Georgina Terni hit a turning point when they decided to experiment in 1995 with some clones of M. By 1999-2001 they replanted all their vineyards with the new clones. Their principal grape production is with M, but they also produce S, Merlot and Chardonnay.
The 2015 Le Rosso Conero Montepulciano is made from 100% M and spends about 15 months in large oak casks. Deep ruby in color with some purple tinges on the rim. A rather fruity nose of red berries. Medium bodied with a mix of ripe red and black fruits on the palate. Rather soft and smooth with supple tannins.
Explore outside of the typical “M ” and seek out those of the Conero in Le Marche.