Once upon a time, Verdicchio was produced as a fairly neutral, high-acid white wine. For this reason, it fell out of favour with consumers, and was consigned to simply make up the bulk in a lot of Italian blends. However, over the years, many producers from Verdicchio’s home region of Marche, have gradually and carefully honed their viticulture and winemaking techniques; and now Verdicchio is making a comeback!
It is still used in many white blends throughout Italy, as its naturally high acidity provides a good backbone to softer, fruitier varietals. But there are two DOCs that produce Verdicchio as a varietal wine – Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and Verdicchio di Matelica.
The wines made from these regions can be drunk in their youth when they are crisp and lively, or cellared for lengthy periods, allowing them to mature, soften and develop into much more complex wines. In its youth, Verdicchio is light and crisp, with a green tinge to its colour. These young wines often show a lemon/lime profile with grapefruit notes, and flinty mineral characters. They are usually paired with fresh seafood or lighter herb pastas. However, as it ages, Verdicchio’s colour changes from pale with a green edge, to more honeyed and deeper yellows. The flavour profile changes too, shifting from crisp citrus to more developed marzipan, nut and honey characters. These older wines provide a wonderful accompaniment to a variety of cheeses, as well as pork and creamy seafood dishes.
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