Monday, 28 January 2013

Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Riserva DOC (2008)

The Bucci family have been growing grapes in Marche since the 1700s and modern day custodian Ampelio Bucci and long-time consultant winemaker Giorgio Grai have worked together for the best part of thirty years to continue this proud tradition. Rather than pursuing the high yields, low cost and bland flavours of many Verdicchio produced in the Marche, instead they aim to produce wines of complexity and aging potential.

Just two Verdicchio are produced by Villa Bucci, of which this “Riserva” takes the place of the winery’s flagship product. Produced from small parcels of Verdicchio grapes sourced from the Bucci estate’s best situated plots of vines, this 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva saw fermentation in (non-refrigerated) stainless steel tanks, prior to a two year period of maturation in very large old oak casks.

Bottled thereafter, this 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva has now seen a further two years in bottle and remains the current vintage of this wine available to the UK market.

Slightly richer in colour than the 2010 Villa Buccio Verdicchio “Superiore” tasted alongside this wine, this 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva is a lemon colour of moderate intensity in the glass. Beautifully expressive on the nose, aromas of ripe white peach, almond and vanilla rise from the glass, alongside a more subtle note of honey and the merest suggestion of apricot.

Maturation in large oak casks has added a wonderfully well resolved medium weight and roundness to the mouth-feel of this 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva, yet does not obscure the more natural flavours of this wine. Fleshy stone fruits are interspersed by finely spun threads of honey and kernel flavours that fade with a clear sense of minerality that is common to the “lesser” Villa Bucci “Superiore” bottling. Impressively long, the taste of this 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva lingers on long after the wine is gone.

Produced with the potential for extended bottle maturation in mind (Ampelio Bucci informed The Independent Wine Review that the 1988 vintage of this bottling is still drinking fantastically well) this 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva may not last the 24 years that the 1988 has, but should show development in cellar for up to a decade if you can bear to set it aside for that long. Otherwise drink this 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva now – it is already an outstanding wine indeed.

Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Riserva DOC (2008)

Score: 92/100 – Rarely is a sense of origin so well defined. This 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva is a stunning white from a region that rarely gets the attention that it deserves.

Value for Money: 7/10Available at £28 per bottle in the UK this 2008 Villa Bucci Verdicchio Riserva will never have the mass market appeal of some Verdicchio, but to think that it should is to miss the point of this wine.