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).