The Inside Story from Italian Wine Merchants

Go-To-Tuesday Wine: Sartarelli 2014 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico

A lively, vivacious under $18 Italian white!

WH1883-2TFinally, some consistent white wine weather (or just spring weather for the rest of us). As the mercury rises in New York, it means only one thing: it’s the perfect time for a lively, vivacious white. I decided to enjoy my weekend with Sartarelli 2014 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico.

This wine was born in a region called Castelli di Jesi, arguably the best region for Italy’s Verdicchio grape. Situated around 1,000 feet above sea level where nothing blocks the cool sea breezes coming off the coast of Ancona,  Sartarelli’s vineyards impart the estate’s wines with a rich minerality. This mineral core balances out the wines’ fruitiness and adds substantive structure. Despite the seemingly ideal landscape for Verdicchio,  the talents of winemaker Alberto Mazzoni make Sartarelli wines something special. Dedicating Sartarelli entirely to Verdicchio, Mazzoni uses his experience with the ancient grape to create wines with a silky texture.

Like most of Sartarelli’s wines, this Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico is an easy starter wine and a real crowd-pleaser. And did I mention that this wine is under $18? Yes, this white is probably one of the best value wines we offer at IWM. I shared this with my friends and heard nothing but excellent reviews as we drank it with linguine and shellfish. Although it has powerful fruity aromatics, this Verdicchio is very well balanced and goes well with almost any food as its flavor will not overpower any dish. However, I will say we particularly enjoyed it with seafood. Its minerality and almost almondy finish just seemed to lend itself perfectly to mussels, clams, and linguine. I full-heartedly recommend keeping a few bottles (or cases) of this on-hand for the warm weather ahead.

Expert Picks: Sartarelli and…Sartarelli!

Two expert selections from Crystal Edgar

Crystal 2014Italian whites must fight for a share of the spotlight—not because they are undeserving but because they have an undeservedly bad rap. Sure, there are some highly commercial wines that have somewhat tarnished the category as a whole, but if you know where to look, Italy offers some of the most refreshing, compelling, unique and beguiling whites in the world! As with wines from any country or region, you should pay attention to the producer name along with the style of the region when making your purchasing or ordering decisions.

Today I want to highlight Sartarelli’s delightful expressions of the Verdicchio grape from the Le Marche region of Italy. One of the premier producers of fine Verdicchio, Sartarelli makes meticulous and wonderfully terroir-driven wines with impressive finesse and complexity. Gifted with a unique terroir and located in the heart of the Marche, Sartarelli vines are perched on slopes 1000 feet above sea level and range from 20-33 years in age. No oak is used for any of the wines, allowing for the purity of the fruit to come through, and the estate’s wines are clean, soft and layered with complex minerality and notes of honey, peach and white flowers.

Below are two offerings that offer exceptional value and drinking pleasure. The refreshing Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico is released right out of the gate, while the Travilio trails one year after the harvest. Always impressive, these wines offer unbeatable value and are wonderful to drink with a variety of foods, flavors and friends.

Sartarelli 2014 Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico $17.99

This lovely Verdicchio Castelli di Jesi Classico delivers a clean, crisp and elegant expression of Verdicchio; it’s perfect for those “anytime” moments. The fruit and green grass on the nose marries perfectly with the fresh minerality and bright acidity on the palate, making it ideal for a simple lunch of pasta primavera or classic raw bar favorites. Easily among the best value whites here at IWM.

Sartarelli 2013 Verdicchio Tralivio $21.99

Sartarelli sources its Tralivio from specially selected grapes from the winemaker’s oldest vineyards. Yields for the Tralivio are limited, translating into a wine with softness and finesse. This crisp yet full-bodied white offers floral tones on the nose followed by Verdicchio’s unmistakable raw almond and white peach. If you are looking for a lovely, unoaked white that gives an abundance of flavor and aroma, you can’t go wrong with this special Verdicchio. Another exceptional value under $25!