In Verdicchio Veritas!
Italy August 2017, in the elegant new facilities of Sartarelli I experienced a vertical tasting of a rather special wine: the Sartarelli Balciana.
A word about the new Saltarelli building: it is an airy and natural light filled small building hosting an original museum dedicated to the glory of the Verdicchio grape.
Characteristics of the Balciana: 100% Verdicchio grapes, full body, rich in alcohol (15%).
The special sauce: Sartarelli uses a little noble rot (up to 8%)
Do I like these wines? Yes. They are full bodied, yet elegant. What contributes to their elegance is the mineral streak on the long finish that adds refinement. The Botrytis is so cleverly integrated, it instills the wine with “confit” flavours, but done in such a way that it doesn’t obscure the readability of the Verdicchio grape and its signature aromas. The wine is suave and, if you are an enthusiastic cook it will make your creative juices flowing.
Balciana 2015: with this wine one crave a piece of grilled salmon
Balciana 2014: an orange Osso bucco please!
Balciana 2013: too much Volatile acidity in this sample so -skip-
Balciana 2012: although it came from a hot vintage, that one was really elegant with obvious floral and honey notes. I ended up my tasting note writing: “Excellent, Chef delight! ” (for the many dish pairing possibilities it offered). Suave mouthfeel and sapidity
Balciana 2011: Less obvious botrytis than the 2014, minerality at the forefront and the fruit is in recess, a white wine for a meat dish.
Balciana 2010: a pleasant tertiary aroma of nocciola, a nutty finish.
Balciana 2009: the Verdicchio DNA is still center in this wine, no oxydative take over here.
Balciana 2008: The oxydative notes are kicking in but feathers in well. More perceived sugar and botrytis. Elegance. Blue cheese friend.
Balciana 2007: this sample was not as interesting. Maybe exit visas are imminent the wine having finished its qualitative course.
But in all fairness, the 2007 should be retasted to see if it would lead to identical conclusions in other bottles.
In Verdicchio Veritas! is the war cry of Sartarelli. Although their Balciana wine is a very original offering with the use of noble rot and late ripening choices, the wine nevertheless stay true to the core qualities of the grape. A class act, Good Job Sartarelli!