Tenuta di Tavignano continues to push the envelope on quality with all of its wines, but most especially with its premium Verdicchio, the 2014 Tavignano Misco Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore. The bright flavorful 2014 Misco is produced from 100% Verdicchio grapes that burst with flavor and a freshness that mirrors the pastoral beauty of the Marche and the alluring gleam of the nearby Adriatic Sea. The wine’s beautiful straw color first strikes the eye and is followed by soft exotic scents of fresh cut flowers and summer fruits. What results is a deliciously plump but sophisticated white wine of exceptional texture and just the right amount of acidity and crispness. Savory scents of apple blossoms, heather, and stone fruits delight the nose, while in the mouth the 2014 Misco enlivens the palate with plenty of crisp fruit flavors, a twist of almond, and just the right amount of juicy acidity to make the thirsty tongue plead for more. Full-flavored for a Verdicchio from Castelli di Jesi, Tavignano’s 2014 Misco continues to unfold in the glass, revealing a multitude of flavors, including a hint of tangy freshness that emanates from the nearby sea. Unlike commercial Verdicchio the 2014 Tavignano Misco evolves in the glass, gaining length and depth as it breathes. Drink this wonderful white wine moderately chilled (40º-45º F) over the next couple of years.
Verdicchio has earned the reputation as “the quintessential fish wine of the Marches,” and the 2014 Tavignano Misco easily fills that role. Like the finest white wines of Italy, Misco is an expressive wine that’s meant to be consumed at table in the company of food. Though it makes a splendid aperitif, as quite a few tasting panel members will attest, it truly shines with hors d’oeuvres, seafood, poultry, cured meats, and the fresh ingredients that sprout from the garden. Consequently, we enjoy pairing Tavignano’s Misco with calamari, salmon or any grilled fish served in a savory herb broth, and Cioppino, the spicy Italian version of Bouillabaisse. Clams, mussels, stuffed mushrooms, Caprese Salad (ripe red and yellow tomatoes with fresh basil and warm, thinly sliced mozzarella), and finely cured salami, sopressata, and mortadella all provide tasty accompaniments to Tavignano’s flavorful, textured 2014 Misco, too. Paninis with cheese and prosciutto, and grilled sweet Italian sausage with peppers and onions also make fine companions to this wine. Fresh fruit and soft cow’s milk cheeses provide gratifying accompaniments as well. Buon Appetito!
Tenuta di Tavignano is an ancient estate in Italy’s Marche. And like so many antique Italian properties, Tavignano has undergone a metamorphosis in the past two decades. The estate’s old farmhouse and 30 hectares of vines were taken over in the early 1990s by husband and wife Stefano Aymerich di Lacaroni and Beatrice Lucangeli, scions of two noble Marchesan families. Together they implemented a total makeover at Tavignano by replanting the vineyards, completely renovating the 16th century farmhouse, and constructing a new underground winery. With this resurrection has come a meteoric increase in the quality of the wines made at Tavignano, so much so that noted wine critic Robert Parker Jr. remarked that Tavignano produced “one of the two finest Verdicchios I have ever tasted,” and we heartily agree.
In addition to producing two renowned Verdicchios, Villa Torre and Misco (the latter is this month’s feature and the winery’s special premium bottling), Tavignano fashions excellent red wines – all from indigenous Marchesan varietals. They include two delicious Rosso Piceno wines, one made from the traditional Marchesan blend of Montepulciano and Sangiovese and the other from the rare Lacrima di Morro d’Alba variety. The total wine production of Tenuta di Tavignano is evenly split between Verdicchio and the estate’s red wines. Since this estate’s decade long renovation, Tavignano has consistently pushed the envelope on quality and fashioned a number of the region’s most exciting wines.
Verdicchio is a white grape variety indigenous to the Marche region of Italy as well as the name of the Marche’s most popular white wine. Verdicchio is derived from the word verde, which means green, due no doubt to the grape’s greenish yellow hue. Verdicchio is a commonplace name among wines consumers, and so is the striking but hopelessly impractical fish-shaped bottle that encapsulates the most commercial and usually least exciting of Verdicchio’s wines from the Castelli di Jesi DOC. However, few experts and consumers alike know that there are actually two appellations for Verdicchio in the Marche, Castelli di Jesi and Matelica, and both appellations produce some of Italy’s most pleasing white wines, mostly from small estates such as Tavignano whose wines contain only 100% Verdicchio grapes.
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