Sunday, 27 January 2013

Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC (2010)

Verdicchio is an often misunderstood grape variety. High yielding and bland when allowed to be, it can however produce some of Italy’s finest white wines when sufficient attention is shown to it. Such attention is shown by those at Villa Bucci.

Located in Castelli di Jesi (Marche), wine has been produced on the Villa Bucci estate and indeed by the Bucci family for hundreds of years. Verdicchio is the main grape variety on the family estate (with six vineyards totally 21 hectares in size), with 5 hectares of Montepulciano and Sangiovese also cultivated for Villa Bucci’s Rosso Piceno. Old Verdicchio vines that average 35 years of age produce small yields of grapes (around half of what is typical for the region) and together Ampelio Bucci and long-time consultant winemaker Giorgio Grai produce some of the most compelling wines to leave the region each vintage.

The “entry level” Verdicchio of two produced at Villa Bucci, this 2010 Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico is the product of small parcels of Verdicchio grapes from the Bucci vineyards that were vinified as separate batches in a mix of stainless steel tanks and oak casks (both non-refrigerated). These small batches were then blended and allowed to harmonise in bottle for six months prior to release.

A pure lemon colour in the glass, this 2010 Villa Bucci Verdicchio offers a beautifully varied and elegant bouquet when swirled. Aromas of soft and ripe white peaches, lemon citrus and almond rise from the glass, with hints of almond and very restrained vanilla offering further depth.

Slightly rounded in style and yet retaining a cleansing minerality, this 2010 Villa Bucci Verdicchio eases across the tongue. Those peach and almond notes from the nose are layered with the flesh of ripe apple, with a water-over-stone minerality persisting through in to the lengthy finish. An understated wine perhaps, this 2010 Villa Bucci Verdicchio is nonetheless exudes no shortage of class.

A good level of residual acidity, despite the slightly rounded mouth-feel of this 2010 Villa Bucci Verdicchio suggests aging potential and Villa Bucci have only recently reverted to a later release date for this wine in order to allow it show some development of flavour before released. Available in the UK now, this 2010 Villa Bucci Verdicchio could either be drunk immediately or kept through to 2018.

Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC (2010)

Score: 88/100 – Subtle, nuanced and classy this 2010 Villa Bucci Verdicchio achieves an impressively high score as a result. Thoroughly impressive.

Value for Money: 7/10 Available for £14 per bottle in the UK, this 2010 Villa Bucci Verdicchio is typically priced for top quality Verdicchio. It is a shame that more in this style don’t come to the UK.