- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Bucci, Verdicchio Classico dei Castelli di Jesi, 2004, $21

This substantial but refreshing white wine provides a delightful alternative to full-bodied chardonnay. Try it if you’re looking for something both delicious and different. Verdicchio, an indigenous Italian grape, grows primarily in the Marches region near the Adriatic coast. The best wines tend to come from vineyards near the city of Jesi. In the classico zone, about 15 miles or so from the water, the soils are rich with minerals, and the maturing grapes benefit from cool sea breezes. As a result, the wines have a stony character that enhances their primary fruit flavors. Even when full-bodied, they seem fresh and lively.

This particular verdicchio, from one of Castelli di Jesi’s leading vintners, tastes rich and sumptuous, with forward flavors that echo golden delicious apples, apricots and lemon custard. Secondary notes seem reminiscent of nuts and spice, and a firm structure prevents the wine from seeming heavy or clumsy.

A great partner for rich seafood dishes (lobster comes to mind right away), it should age well for a couple of years, but probably won’t ever taste any better than it does now. (Imported by Empson USA.)

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