Make the time to say ‘cin cin’ to Verdicchio

Times Drinks Editor James Viner praises the grape from one of Italy’s least-known, high-quality wine regions


1)  2022 Moncaro Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico DOC (£6.99, Waitrose,

The Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico DOC subzone is restricted to vineyards located on the left (northern) bank of the Misa River. Of all the entry-level, supermarket Verdicchios, this is the one I like the best. It has a riffle of elderflower, yellow citrus, ripe pear, Granny Smith apple, green herbs, and a jolt of almond and white peach. Not for the cellar. So good at the end of a hot day, it would make a lovely aperitif. Who needs complicated on a hot summer evening?
A crisp drink-with-anything summer stalwart with a bright, lively and zesty finish. Vinified by the local co-op.

2)  2021 Villa Bucci Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC (£22, The Wine Society,

This classy, multi-faceted and beautifully-composed Verdicchio from an organically farmed estate has great precision and tension with bosc pear, lime blossom, wild herbs, orange peel and saline notes that hold well on the long, refreshing, sapid, slightly salty finish. A lovely gastronomic style and a joy to drink. Maybe with shellfish risotto or roasted flounder with lemon butter? It’s a super-smart, artisanal wine made by Ampelio Bucci and will blossom over the next few years.

3)  2020 La Monacesca, Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva DOCG ‘Mirum’ (£25.75, Winetraders,

Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva was raised to DOCG status in 2010. Unlike its big neighbour, Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, which is situated close to the Adriatic Sea, Matelica’s vineyards are landlocked in the foothills of the Apennine Mountains, close to the regional border with Umbria, and experience a continental climate. This very exciting wine, made from Verdicchio fruit sourced from a three-hectare vineyard at around 400 metres above sea level in this inland, higher and slightly hillier zone, is cut like a good suit. Think bay leaf, aniseed, caramelised apricots, citrus fruit, pear and toasted almonds. Begging for serious food. Anyone for coniglio in porchetta or Matelica’s ‘vincisgrassi’ (the exceedingly hearty lasagna from the Marche)? A real find with a bright future.

4)  2018 Tenuta di Tavignano, ‘Misco’ Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva DOCG (£48, Petersham Cellar,

Tenuta di Tavignano is a 230-hectare estate situated 20km to the southwest of Ancona airport at around 300 metres above sea level in the municipality of Cingoli on a hill above the valleys of Esino and Musone rivers (the Latin for which, ‘Miscus,’ gives its name to this single vineyard wine from the estate’s finest Verdicchio parcel). It was acquired in 1973 by Stefano Aymerich and his wife, Beatrice Lucangeli and has been certified organic since 2018.

This youthful, Verdicchio Riserva DOCG wine tingles with life and smells of lemon peel, star anise, acacia, pears, seashells and crushed rocks, with a little yellow fruit, green herbs and toasted almond thrown in.

It’s complex, with a stony, seashell minerality that sits neatly alongside the long toasted almond nut conclusion.

It deserves a decanter and will age very well. I could see it improving (I would give it an even longer cellaring future if it had a screwcap) for another decade, gaining more marzipan and honey characters. Thoroughly satisfying to drink with a wide range of foods and substantial enough (there’s a reason why Verdicchio is often dubbed ‘a red wine disguised as a white’) to pair with great seafood and game meat. Bring on pasta with game sauce – hello pappardelle alla lepre.

Don’t serve this wine, and the two above, too cold (it’ll conceal the nuances). Stefano’s niece Ondine de la Feld, who has run the estate since 2021, recommends pouring it around 13°C-18°C. The crème de la crème of a relatively recent DOCG and a big ‘si’ for your cellar from me – worth every penny!


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