This past week I had a short SKYPE interview with Julius Angelini, one of the famous ‘Angelini brothers’, known for their superior wines from one of the Italy’s most beautiful regions, Le Marche.
Le Marche had been my destination on several wine trips in the past. I attended the opening of the Domodimonti winery in 2010 and revisited the vineyard after Vinitaly, which takes place in Verona, in 2011.
Le Marche offers a vast landscape of narrow coastal plains that rise sharply into the peaks of the Sibillini mountains, which create a natural boundary between Umbria and Tuscany. The region of Emilia-Romangna is to the north and Abruzzo is to the south.
Le Marche’s western border is the Adriatic sea, whose crown jewel is the seaside town of Ancona.
The region is a must visit, especially if you are flying to Rome. I have visited Italy well over fifty times and am amazed that Le Marche had not been my radar until 2010.
Add the Adriatic sea to the scenario and you feel like you are in New Zealand, which is graced with natural beauty and an ocean that is paradise. It is a wonderful region to explore.
Most of the region is mountainous. The Apennine mountain chain creates the interior boundary, while an extensive system of hills descends towards the Adriatic. The hills do not exceed 2,500 feet and cover two-thirds of the region, only interrupted by rivers, wide gullies and alluvial plains that are parallel to the mountains.
My favorite interior city is Ascoli Piceno, a charming town that lies in-between the mountains.
Le Marche may not be well known, yet, as a wine making region, but, it does produce some excellent varieties.
A well known white is Verdicchio.
There are numerous red wines that put Le Marche on the map. And there is a vineyard that has created a category of reds, Arricola Angelini.
The Agricola Angelini. decided only to work with red wine varieties.
Located 1000 feet above sea level, in the village of San Lorenzo in Campo, Julius Angelini explained that the Angelini Estate name denotes grapes that are only grown on the Estate. Julius explained that his families farm is 200 acres in size and has been in the family for three generations.
The winery uses 1000-2000 liter barrels for aging and uses no barrique. Production is limited to 2-4 pounds per vine, an equivalent of 1-2 bottles per vine.
The premier red wines of Angelini Estates include Pergola Rosso, Sangiovese, Merlot ‘Per Amici’ and Sangiovese Reserva. All of the wines that I tasted are in limited production,but,are widely available throughout the U.S.
The Pergola Rosso ($16.99) is made from the Pergola grape. Floral aromatics coupled with cherries and strawberries on the palate make this smooth and silky wine a pleasure to drink.
At $26.99, the Sangiovese is nearly a perfect wine. Cherry dominates both the nose and palate. Add leather and tar and you have an exceptional wine that will steal the show.
The Merlot ‘Per Amici’, at $49.99, is a rich and luscious wine that goes in like a tiger and goes out like a swan, elegant, soft and lingering. I believe this is a must buy wine for those special occasions.
The Sangiovese Reserva ($24.99) is a universal wine that can pair well with grilled meats, especially steaks like filet mignon or can be consumed on its own. The Sangiovese grape is difficult to work with, but, winemaker Paul Angelini has found the secret to make this bottle stand out above the rest.
The wines from Angelini Estate are wines that epitomize many of the best red wines from Italy.