After the Wine Review of Valserrano Crianza Rioja 2009, it's time to hear about The Casalfarneto ‘Rosae’ LaCrima di Morro d’Alba-2012 - Italian Red
Wines and People
The Le Marche region has a lot to offer to wine lovers and gourmets from the prestigious and famous Verdicchio, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba and Vernaccia di Serrapetrona, a first DOCG of the Region, to the Pecorino or Passerina, rediscovered wines that recently hit the headlines. Also the Rosso Conero and Rosso Conero Riserva DOCG wines, two great reds native to the vineyards of just seven municipalities in the Le Marche province of Ancona. The Le Marche where all these wines are found have mountains and hills gently sloping down to the coast, a great terroir, essential for the growth of great wines. In 2012, Le Marche produced 920,000 hl (10.2 million cases) of wine. There are 16 DOC and 5 DOCG wines, these spread throughout the Marche region, thus confirming the high level of quality reached by this wonderful regions wine production. Many of these wines are little known outside of Italy but visitors to the region have a pleasant surprise when they try the local wine produced by many small aziendas and cantinas.
Curated by Mariano Pallottini
Sometimes, one producer’s wine becomes so popular that others don’t want to miss out on the action, but the problem is few vines of the native grape remain. Once-rare Lacrima wines are an example. Lacrima is an aromatic red grape and the Lacrima di Morro d’Alba wine explodes with a litany of fragrances in the glass; yet some speak of a "tough", or quite tannic, wine. "I would submit," says Stefano Mancinelli, perhaps Italy’s best known producer of the wine, "that tough Lacrima di Morro d’Alba wines are made with too little Lacrima and too much Montepulciano. [...]
Syla from Azienda Landi combines two grape varieties, Syrah and Lacrima di Morro d'Alba typical from Le Marche Region. This grapes combination is giving excellent freshness, minerality and a long persistence to this rosè wine. This unic rosé wine is characterized by a fine and very elegant scent, with fruity notes, making it a perfect travel mate in the taste paths of the Marche together with light pasta dishes, starters and cold cuts. [...]
Ramosceto Lacrima di Morro d'Alba: Marche, Italy $13.99
"The Lacrima is unique. It's old world, but at the same time it's fruit-forward with unmistakable notes of baked blueberries, pipe tobacco and bit of plum skin towards the finish. Fruit like that isn't common in Old World wines, which tend to lean more towards earthier notes and brighter red fruit. I thought it would be a good bottle for those die-hard California wine drinkers who have always wanted to test the waters of another country without stepping too far out of their comfort zone, taste-wise.
"We've been carrying the Ramosceto Lacrima di Morro d'Alba for a couple of months now and it has become one of our top selling wines."
The fun part of a blind tasting is when the wines tasted and rated are then "unmasked" and we learn what we liked the most and the least.
I recently led two blind tastings of Italian wines that proved to be quite interesting.
Italian wines present enormous opportunity for value, but you just have to know where to look. Less appreciated is the potential for excellent value provided by lesser-known grape varietals.
Two wines that stood out at each of the tastings that prove the point were from relatively unknown grapes — the Nero D'Avola and the Lacrima Di Morro D'Alba.
More obscure is the Lacrima Di Morro D'Alba, a grape that virtually was extinct until 1985. Since then, production has increased dramatically as people have appreciated the unique flavor profile that this grape produces — a remarkable aromatic finish of violets that we never suspect would be provided by a red wine. With a smooth mouth feel and full body, this makes for an enjoyable wine (that finished in second place in each tasting). [...]
Are you stuck in a wine drinking rut? Sick of drinking stuff that tastes just a bit, well, winey? A bit dull? Here's a weird one to get you thinking while you're drinking. I suspect it might divide people into the "wow, that's really interesting" camp and the "wow, that's reallyweird" camp, so choose the right time to open it.
Twirl your glass around a bit, stick your nose in and it smells amazing. Very orangey; also peaches; blossom of some kind; lavender, maybe. Floral and perfumed like a hippy's patchouli-scented boudoir, in my mouth sensing a squirt of honey and lemon, a slice of orange peel. [...]
Velenosi’s Lacrima has been described as a bouquet of violet flowers I love the florals of this wine paired with soft tannins.
The wine’s peculiarity doesn’t end with it’s characteristics. The wackiest part is that not many people know about this wine. I even presented it to one of my very knowledgeable wine buyers and they did not believe me that Lacrima was the varietal (the grape). This is mostly because Lacrima is exclusively produced in an area of Italy called Morro d’Alba and not all producers export their wine. There is not much marketing or promotion of this wine and you will not see it on most shelves. Morro d’Alba is located in Le Marche, a region on Italy’s central eastern coast. So this is one of Le Marche’s hidden gems and Velenosi Vini is a producer dedicated to sharing the region’s treasures with us in the States.[...]
The Conti di Buscareto estate was founded in 2002 by Enrico Giacomelli and Claudio Gabellini, wine lovers and entrepreneurs with a vision of rediscovering native Marche varietals, and to “produce wine with a new, modern method”. Morra d’Alba is located in the Marche region on the eastern coast of Italy, it is the nearby village where the Lacrima vineyards are. Lacrima translates to “tears” in Italian and is thought to refer to the fact that the grape’s skin weeps drops of juice when it is fully ripe.
Dark violet in colour with abundant aromas of candied violets, dark berries and earth. Blackberry, cranberry and floral notes comprised the full body, whilst smoky earth and meaty elements lingered lavishly between each sip. With an engaging contrast of delicate floral notes and dense meaty flavours, this is a focused glass that will keep you reaching for more. [...]
Rosso di Sera, a Le Marche Restaurant in London is offering to all our customers a special deal for Christmas: four typical Le Marche wines at a very advantageous price. A perfect Christmas present to friends who love to make new wines experiences.
Very peculiar and quite difficult to find abroad wines of Le Marche region, the white Verdicchio di Matelica and the red Lacrima di Morro d'Alba together with the rosé Rosa di Monteacuto and the sparkling Passerina Brut. [...]
Marche: 18 awarded wines and, above all, the Verdicchio that, between the Castelli di Jesi and Matelica, scores a strike, with so many different interpretations and an average level very remarkable.
The extraordinary interpretations of Verdicchio, these grapes so eclectic, have given us, this year, wines with fresh and sharp interpretations more subtle and refined than ever, with sober elegance and intense aroma. The Pecorino confirmed what expressed in 2013 among whites and so the reds with excellent performances, continuity and some new entries. To remark the dessert wines, especially obtained from dried grapes of Lacrima of Morro d' Alba and Verdicchio.
1 of 5 producers were not in the Guide 2013, great sign dynamicity.
Lacrima di Morro d’Alba is a distinctively scented red wine from Marche, central Italy. It is produced from the ancient Lacrima grape variety, in the area surrounding the hilltop village of Morro d’Alba. The wine’s floral bouquet recalls lavender, roses and violets, over heavier notes of stewed strawberries. No less impressive are the flavors, which are redolent of vanilla-tinged blueberry brioche with a hint of sweet spice (cinnamon). Although typically mid-bodied, dry and relatively tannic, the wine can also be produced in a sweet passito style. [...]
A juicier theory behind the Lacrima name is that its grapes have a tendency to split, or perhaps 'cry', forming tears of juice on the bunches. The Lacrima grape's ancestry is still debated in the world of vine identification, but DNA profiling has suggested links with Aleatico.
Beyond their memorable story and flavor, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba wines are also unusual in the way they are made. The governo Toscano (Tuscan method) is used, which brings the wine into a second fermentation via an addition of fresh, sugar-rich must pressed from partially dried grapes. Under DOC laws, this process must be carried out by December 31 in the year of harvest. To add a further element of intrigue, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba wines are produced not just in dry styles, but in off-dry abboccato or sweet dolce.
Although they are generally made from 100% Lacrima grapes, these wines can also contain up to 15% Montepulciano and/or Verdicchio. As a white-wine variety, Verdicchio may seem an unusual inclusion here, but a small addition of white-wine grapes in a red wine is far from unheard-of (this was in fact common practice in Chianti in the mid-late 20th Century). Verdicchio is the obvious choice, as Morro d'Alba lies immediately north of Jesi and just 25 miles north-east of Matelica (the heartlands of Verdicchio production).
Susan Brink O’Flagherty is the wine director for both Dominick’s in WeHo and Little Dom’s in Los Feliz, and for Tom Bergin’s Tavern. She opened Venokado wine shop in West Hollywood in 2008 and a second location with a tasting room in Santa Monica in May. A former manager at A.O.C., she caught the wine bug there. "A Cruvinet and 50 different wines a day? It was really fun and opened up my mind."
What's your favorite wine region to visit? And do you have any secret spots there? I don’t get out much. But I’m going on a honeymoon next year (even though we got married in September). This is my life. I can’t even fit in a honeymoon! We’re going to Paris and to Italy where I’m planning on going to the Marche, my favorite wine region. Verdicchio, Pecorino, Montepulciano are some of my favorite wines of all time from that region. They’re dark and full of iron and blood and war. There's just something about them really beguiling and magical. And then, after exploring the Marche, I would like to get on the boat and go to Croatia. I love the wines there.
What's the sleeper on your list? In the Marche, there’s a wine called Lacrima di Morro d’Alba from Luigi Guisti. Lacrima is the grape varietal and I have the wine on the list at both Little Dom and Dominick’s and at the store, too. It’s for someone up for a little bit of an adventure. It’s a medium-bodied red wine in the same vein as a really floral Pinot Noir. You almost feel like you can bathe in it, it’s so layered and expressive and pretty — rose petals, violets, blueberries, raspberries. It’s very versatile with food, too.[...]
It’s appropriate that the country producing both the greatest quantity and greatest variety of wine in the world should also host the globe’s largest wine show.
Over 4,200 wineries and 140,000 wine lovers gathered last week in the literary home of Romeo and Juliet, which seems fitting as the event is frequently billed as “another love story in Verona.”
What follow are some Italian grape varietals that you may not have heard of, but your palate is sure to be rewarded by making the effort to seek out these wines.
Lacrima di Morro d'Alba
The name means teardrop and the grape is found in the central east coast region of Le Marche. Typical aromas of roses with wild strawberries and a beautiful juicy vinous character. Used to produce still red wines, sweet wines and unique and delicious sparkling.
Mostly found in Le Marche and Abruzzo regions resulting in white wines with fresh and delicate aromas, full on the palate with mineral notes, some fresh herbs and citrus.
Take a deep breath. No, into your wine glass. Can you smell that? It’s spring.
Yes, the first day of spring was yesterday, which had me thinking — I know I’ve heard of wines having a “floral nose.” But how much can wine really smell like flowers?
Turns out, it can quite a bit. Moscato, Gewurztraminer and torrontes are among the most-aromatic white wines, according to Jonna Brandon at The Twisted Vine; shiraz, syrah, lacrima and schioppettino are the top picks when it comes to reds. (And, if you’re so inclined, Fiano di Avellino has a spearmint scent — but doesn’t taste of it.)
Some have just a whiff of floral notes that, among others, the discerning nose might not even register. Others are so strong and clear that anyone would notice them. For the most part, though, the “wines with floral aromatics” — as the owner of the Grandview shop calls them — are minor grapes that many people haven’t heard of. To an attuned nose, the scents can range from earthy geranium to sweet orange blossom and lilies.
If you’re interested in sniffing out this phenomenon for yourself, I would suggest you sample one like I did: the Kerria Lacrima di Morro D’Alba ($17 at The Twisted Vine). Brandon had me sold when she likened the scent to roses and lilies, and she couldn’t have been more right.
This one was so convincingly floral-smelling, I wasn’t sure it would taste like wine. But it did — dry and more spicy than fruity, but still light on the tongue. Plus, I loved that it was a pleasure to inhale with each sip (swirl it and allow it to settle first to get the best read).
How wine comes to have that characteristic is up for debate, Brandon said — some winemakers think it’s influenced by the soil, while others say it has to do with how ripe the grapes are when they’re picked.
We’ll leave that debate to the professionals. In the meantime, care to cheers the start of spring with a glass of wine?
‘Barbarossa’ Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, 2011 Romagnoli, $10 from Astor Wine, NYC
This ruby red wine hails from a small family winery near the eastern coast of Italy (Morro d'Alba, Le Marche Region) . With a nose of blueberry and violet, the palate is dominated with blue plum and blackberry with a hint of rose petals. Young tannins provide only a little grip in the finish but the acidity pairs well with the young fruit and makes for a very satisfying wine that may make you think you’re sitting on the veranda of an Italian villa, looking out at the Mediterranean sea. Lacrima was a grape I had not heard of before, but the word immediately reminded me of ‘Lacrimosa’, the latin word for ‘weeping’ whichI knew thanks to Mozart and his K626 Requiem in D minor- a haunting and lovely piece of music. Tangent aside, I did a little research and learned that in Italian, ‘lacrima’ literally translates to ‘tear’ primarily due to the tear-shape of the grape, as well as the thin-skinned nature of the grape which allows juice to leak out and ‘cry’ from the bottom of the grape at maturity. This unusual grape is only found in the Marches area of Italy (near the calf of the boot, if you will) and Lacrima is considered best when enjoyed young.
I picked this up from Astor Wine as part of their 10 Wines under $10 and waited for a night that I was cooking Italian food to taste it. While it paired beautifully with gnocchi and tomato sauce, it would pair equally well with light meats, cheeses, salmon and similar fare. I’ll keep my eye out for wines made with lacrima in the future, especially at this price tag.
Lucchetti Lacrima Di Morro d’Alba 2011
$17.95, 88 points, Vintages 310094
Lacrima de Morro d’Alba is from Marche on the Adriatic (not related to the town/region of Alba in Piedmont. This is a very fruity, soft, rounded and pleasant young red with purple-ruby colour and generous aromas of candied plums, red licorice twizzler and some leesy character. It’s medium weight, soft and well balanced with the barest dusting of tannin. The length is good. Chill lightly.
Marche is a hilly wine growing region on the Adriatic Coast of central Italy, a rural area that has retained its own wine making traditions and local grape varietals. The combination of the ocean air and the soil of the region gives the grapes a unique character all their own. Saturday we’ll be exploring the region, trying some of the local delectables from such grapes as Verdicchio, Bianchello, Aleatico and Lacrima di Moro, as well as a unique and delicious local cherry wine.
Colonnara practices sustainable agriculture respecting the natural habitat. Their Verdicchio has hints of green apple, grapefruit, kiwi and elegantly floral notes of acacia and mimosa. It is full-bodied with good balance and a lingering aftertaste of fruit and fresh almond.
Terracruda, literally “raw earth” is located in the small village of Fratte Rosa. Their vineyards are in the process of being certified organic. The Bianchello has notes of fresh fruit and spring elderflowers described as “the typical flavor of the Pesaro area.”
Vernaccia di Pergola (Aleatico)
The Pergola Rosso is predominantly made from a native clone of Aleatico, which is an aboriginal biotype of Pergola. The grape provides this wine with an aromatic complexity both to its taste and to its complexity. “Vettina communicates, through a sensation of youth and aroma, the maximum expression of the territory. Ideal for moment of relax and carefreeness.”
Morro d’Alba is a village with only 150 acres of the grape. Here the local grape Lacrima thrives. It has strong aromas of rose and violets along with notes of raspberry, pink pepper and oriental spices. It is nicely fruity and spicy on the palate, with smooth tannins, long velvety finish. The Orgiolo is the wineries Reserva being aged for 12 months in small second or third use French oak barrels.
500ml Aleatico, Sangiovese and wild cherries
This distinct and tasty dessert wine is made from the local red wine is blended with wild cherries the following July. It’s very aromatic, full of mixed fruits and just plain delicious.
This wine springs from the soils of the Marche region of Italy, province of Ancona, and most precisely, the little town of Morro d’Alba. Just in this place, and in a few surrounding hamlets, grows one of Italy’s, and indeed the world’s most distinctive grapes: Lacrima (di Morro d’Alba). Those with some familiarity with Latin-rooted languages might understand “Lacrima” as “tear”, and they’d be right. The deeply colored variety is so named because its very thin skins, that upon reaching full ripening, often split, and spill their stained fructose “tears”. A pity for the grower who has to learn how to get his fruit in preferably just before the bawling starts, but those who do manage it give the drinker a rare pleasure...
This N. v. Conti di Buscareto Lacrima di Morro d'Alba Brut Rose from Marche is a dry, floral rose with notes of strawberry that is best served as an aperitif or fun nightcap. Expect tight-knit bubbles are reminiscent of champagne, but much cleaner (lacking the yeast and acidity of champagne).
It still has a little of that salinity from the Adriatic sea but what makes Morro d’Alba wines special, and distinctive, is the abundance of rose petal, rose aroma, rose perfume, rose thorns that reside in each bottle. Honestly, I’ve had some wines from here that are like drinking your mom’s eau de cologne straight from bottle. I will admit that the first time I ever tasted one of these wines I spat it out and swore I would find a different job. But with a little patience and a lot more tolerance I kept at it and the wines have grown on me. I quite like being exported to a rose garden.
Morro d’Alba is a town located in the Marche region of Italy. Remember the name because wines from this DOC are exciting, different, and generally less expensive than their Tuscan neighbor. The grape is Lacrima and various myths abound about the name – the grape looks like a tear; the grape has a tendency to split when ripe and the juice flows over the skin, like a tear, but personally I like the one that implies lacrima are the weapon of women so keep a bottle of Lacrima on hand if you end up watching a chic-flic.
Mario Lucchetti belongs to a family of farmers, he started in the '80s with the first hectares of vineyard of "Lacrima di Morro d'Alba" and nowadays pays great attention to the vineyards 18 hectars of wine that produce grapes worked with passion in the company's modern wine cellar.
Lucchetti with 150.000 bottles produced, is one of the most important winemakers in the district, he has continued in his commitment to the art and in the cellar, with the help of his wife Teresa and son Paolo.
Gabellini and Giacomelli built their state-of-the-art winery in 2002 and immediately began to create wines that reflected the unique varietals of the Marche region and to put their own stamp on the wines, which are quickly gaining a foothold in every American city in which they have been introduced. The wines have already gained popularity in New York and, in this outing at the prestigious W Hotel in South Beach, Miami, they are set to make their mark in Florida, before moving on the Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago and Houston. The wines made a big splash at the recent VinItaly conference in Verona and are quickly garnering rave reviews from wine writers and critics in the United States. The fact that they are value priced and offer a big flavor bang for the buck is an added plus in a crowded international wine market.