What happens if your father gets in his head to cook a brodetto all’anconetana and invites you home with your brother and his wife?
You will say that you have to find the most suitable match and bring the correct wine bottle.
The fact is that, at the risk of attracting the javelins of my father and all the gods of the Marches, I confess that I am not a great supporter of the salty flavours of Verdicchio, the wine that is usually used for this dish. I already imagine hordes of “And then Villa Bucci?” , “And then the San Lorenzo?”. Unfortunately not everything can please everyone
The luck, however, is that, in that of San Michele, a hamlet of Cupramontana, in the province of Ancona, since 1935, the Dottori family has started to cultivate the vine, and producing Verdicchio out of the choir and, at the same time, exceptional. Today is Corrado Dottori taking care of the 8.5 hectares of vineyards distributed, in fact, between Cupramontana and San Paolo.
To talk about Corrado’s wines it is necessary to start from his conception of viticulture, a technically biodynamic and philosophically ecological and ethical conception.
Technically the goal is to respect the physiology of the vine through the abandonment of the topping, defoliation, the abandonment of subrow processing and the use of a pruning model that helps the natural propensity to branch life. Nor should it be forgotten that the inter-rows are cultivated with favino, veccia, pea, alfalfa and allowing the spontaneous essences to thrive.
The belief that the vine must grow with its own forces leads to the absence of fertilizations, the use of homeopathic doses of copper and sulfur and biodynamic preparations 500 (cornoletame) and Fladen (Maria Thun).
Finally, conceiving viticulture as a part of the natural whole to be kept in balance, in La Distesa the vineyards are scattered in the midst of woods, hedges, trees, reeds, grasses, arable land (conducted with the technique of rotations), and olive groves.
As for ethics, of which I mentioned almost at the beginning of the post, here just a fact to get an idea of Corrado’s sincerity. It is famous a post that Corrado published a couple of months ago, a post in which he confessed with great transparency that the adverse climatic conditions of vintage 2023 had not produced grapes qualitatively able to give life to the reserves, and destroyed over 50% of the harvest.
In this case many “big-time” producers buy grapes from neighbors and put the proverbial “piece”.
Corrado candidly announced that the production of the 2023 vintage would be halved and that the reserves would not be produced. The Latins would have said “sic et simpliciter”
Fortunately, however, I can count on a nice supply of what is unanimously recognized as the flagship of the winery, Gli Eremi (in my case the vintage is 2020). It is a wine that could easily be considered a Verdicchio dei Colli di Jesi Classico Superiore, but that Corrado has downgraded, tired of the vintages in which his wine was questioned by the tasting committees.
The wine was born in a tiny vineyard of half a hectare, with vines of over 30 years, facing south, in the district of San Michele, the most coveted and prestigious of Cupramontana. Poor soils, excellent temperature ranges, absence of moisture, ventilation, good altitude (500 meters above sea level), are all factors that make it a pearl among the pearls.
The 2800 Verdicchio plants make about one kg of grapes each one, grapes that are sent to the cellar to ferment spontaneously, without temperature control, in oak barrels. The wine will be left to age for two years, one of which will be in contact with the lees, before bottling without clarification or filtration.
As I said before, having a good stock of this reference in the vintage 2020, I decided to bring a bottle to pair it with the famous Brodetto. Not having enough time to the wine breathe properly, as I usually do, I proceeded to decant it tumultuously.
And, as a matter of fact, the first impressions were not pleasant.
After about half an hour, however, the wine climbed up, accelerated for a pole position lap, and silenced us in a flash!
The almost golden yellow of the wine and the bows in the glass suggested a certain consistency; yet there was a nose that took a completely different direction, made of many citrus fruits (ripe orange Tarocco, alchechengi, kumquat, pink grapefruit), aromatic herbs (chamomile, Mediterranean scrub, peppermint, wild fennel), and final hints of flavor/iodine, Madeira Boal and Sherry Pedro Ximenez.
The palate was as fun as solving a puzzle from La Settimana Enigmistica: there was the flavor/ iodine, there was sweetness, there was citrus acidity, the typical glue of softness was a bit in the background, there was a principle of oxidation (which, as you know, I always find delicious, if expressed at these levels). In short, on the card, considered also the return of citrus and light oxidation, by retronasal way, this wine seemed a great confusion.
But it wasn’t like that!
To imagine the palatal effect you have to think of all the gustatory references as the strings of a guitar, while playing a chord of, let’s say, Aminor/7/9b.
Letting a single string vibrate does not give you the perception of the complete chord, but just as the string is finishing vibrating the second string is struck, and you continue in this way until you have beaten all the necessary strings (A-C-E-G-Bb)…only then will begin to acquire a magnificent sense the picture that we will be in front of, only then we will be able to enjoy this wine with joy, also thanks to an almost endless persistence.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO CONTACT ME? CLICK HERE!