Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Verdicchio di Matelica: a Reader's Winning Suggestion

When I wrote about how I was heading to Italy's Le Marche region this May, one of my readers (Anton) said I had to try Collestefano's Verdicchio di Matelica.

So I did. And it was a good tip.

Le Marche has two main regions that produce wines made with the Verdicchio grape: Castelli di Jesi (which is much better known) and Matelica. Though Castelli di Jesi Verdicchios are more widely available in the US, the grapes grown in Matelica are often described as more intense, and produce a more full-bodied wine with a greener tinge in the juice.

The 2006 Collestefano Verdicchio di Matelica was a very good QPR Italian white. ($13.99, K & L Wines; available online for between $12 and $15) It was greeny-gold in color, which is typical of the variety. Fresh summery aromas of sea salt and straw were unusual and enticing. The tart flavors of grapefruit pith and more salt combined with honeydew melon developed the summery feeling of the wine, and and were very piercing and intense. The wine had a core of acidity that gave it good structure and accentuated its mouth-watering finish. I would definitely rebuy this wine, and keep it on hand for drinking, well-chilled, throughout the summer.

The intense briny and citrus flavors of this wine cried out for shellfish, and anything you can imagine doing with shrimp would be a very good pairing. If you are looking for something different and very Italian to go with your Verdicchio di Matelica, how about combining shrimp with white beans, rosemary, and garlic? This dish originates in Tuscany, but the wine's intensity would stand up well to the rosemary and garlic, and the briny notes in the wine would accentuate those qualities in the shrimp.

Readers have come up with some great suggestions regarding wine for me to try during my Italian wine tour this year, and I really appreciate them. Thanks, Anton, for telling me to try this winning wine.

5 comments:

Anton said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I figured it was right up your alley...

Chalasmaras said...

lovely, thanks for sharing

Alfonso Cevola said...

I did try this wine. Another producer, La Monacesca, also makes an excellent Matelica.

Dr. Debs said...

It was, Anton. Alfonso, I will look for the La Monacesca. I do like the wine very much.

Alessandro Castaldo said...

Excellent wine! Matelica verdicchio is more "salted" than castelli di jesi one. Anyway, 2006 is already finished...
I suggest to try 2007 vintage.

Alex