from Decanter 2015

Verdicchio is held in great esteem by critics and wine lovers, but remains little known by the general public. ..

A tale of two zones
There are two DOC zones for Verdicchio in Marche:
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, the more famous of
the two, and Verdicchio di Matelica. While most
examples are 100% Verdicchio (DOC regulations
require 85% minimum Verdicchio), the
characteristics of these wines are quite varied,
thanks to a series of factors including soil, climate
and elevation.
The Castelli di Jesi zone is located in northcentral Marche,
while Matelica is in the western centre of the region, close to the Apennine
Mountains that traverse this part of the region, near
the border with Umbria.
‘The greatest difference between Matelica and Jesi, is the terrains.
Jesi is very rich in clay and skeletal
deposits, while Matelica is richer in minerals.
Also Jesi is more open to the sea, while Matelica is
an inland territory, where the influence of the
mountains can be felt.’

‘The valley of Matelica is a closed valley,
with the Apennines on one side and on the other,
the mountain range of san Vicino. It does not feel
the effect of marine influences, rather it is a
continental climate with very cold winters with
snow and very hot summers.’

‘the Verdicchios from Matelica have a great structure
on the palate, but with stronger acidic and saline
components with respect to Jesi.’

As for the grape itself ..
the ‘vibrant acidity and high
content of polyphenols that combine to result in
wines that last many years’.

‘in Verdicchio, one can find powerful antixodants such
as etil-caffeato [ethyl caffeate], which is similar to
resveratrol in red wines.’

In both zones, structure in the wines is provided
by the combination of vineyard altitude and vine
age. ‘About 90% of Verdicchio is produced on hills
that are situated between 280m and 600m above
sea level,’

Flavour profiles vary from one area to the next,
often with notable differences. For example, the
Cupramontana zone, which is home to several
top producers ..

is the oldest for Verdicchio production. This area is
one of the closest to the sea as well as having many
of the highest vineyard plantings.

.. Verdicchio from
Cupramontana offers aromas of yellow fruit
(especially pears) along with notes of anise and
wild fennel. This is a contrast to other zones in Jesi
(such as staffolo or Apiro) where perfumes of
tropical and candied fruit are more representative.
While stainless steel is the most common ageing
vessel, a few producers use cement tanks for
fermentation and/or maturing their wines.