2018 "Dasempre del Pozzo Buono"
Lacrima di Morro d'Alba
For our Marche Shipment we were looking for a great expression of another native grape, Lacrima (from Morro d'Alba). Although this grape variety is still not very popular in the US, it can make delightful wines. During our visit to Vinitaly 2018 in Verona, we had the chance to try many great ones, but we really loved "Dasempre del Pozzo Buono" by Vicari. We met Vico and Valentina, the two young siblings, who own and manage the winery. We especially related to them because they are young entrepreneur's like ourselves. This made it all the more special to feature them in our Wine Club. Normally we buy our wines directly from the winery in Italy and import to the US, but Vicari was already imported by a really small importer in Southern California who distributes to some restaurants. Due to "exclusivity reasons", we couldn't import the wine directly, so we bought it from the distributor. Nonetheless, we are extremely excited to introduce them to you!
2018 "Dasempre del Pozzo Buono" Lacrima di Morro d'Alba DOC by Vicari
Grape: 100% Lacrima
Tasting Notes: The color is intense ruby red with purple reflections. On the nose the wine is bright and vibrant, expressing notes of red, blue and purples fruits such as plums, wild berries, cherry and blueberry, accompanied by floral notes of violet and hints of spices. In the mouth the wine is fresh and lean, with bright acidity and soft tannins. The aftertaste is long and persistent.
Recommended Drink Window: Best NOW! Drink young, before 2025.
Temperature of Service: 60-64° F (We enjoy this wine slightly cooler than other reds. If you don't have a wine fridge or cellar, you can put it in the refrigerator for ~10 minutes to cool it down slightly).
Decanting: We suggest opening the bottle at least 30 minutes ahead of time to get the full expression of aromas and flavors. Once opened, you can let the bottle sit (for example, while you cook dinner). However, if you don't have time to open in advance you can decant for a faster oxygenation. We also suggest trying to get your own personal idea by tasting the wine, little by little, to discover new notes and aromas while the wine is still opening up. It's interesting to see how the wine changes over the course of 30 minutes, and even up to several hours later.
"Tears" of Lacrima grapes
Lacrima di Morro d'Alba (pronounced LA-kree-mah / di / MOHR-row) DOC is a red wine made from the ancient Lacrima (meaning "tear" in Italian) grape variety in the area surrounding the hilltop village of Morro d'Alba in the province of Ancona in the Marche region. Lacrima is hardly, if ever, found growing outside of the town of Morro d'Alba, which makes this an extremely site-specific grape & wine. The name "Lacrima di Morro d'Alba" literally means "tear of Morro d'Alba". It comes from the unusual characteristic of these berries that when fully ripe, release little drops of juice like tears. This is due to the skin that is thick, but very delicate, and can crack during the last steps of the ripening, especially during rainy seasons.
The Lacrima grape's ancestry is still debated in the world of vine identification, but DNA profiling has suggested links with the Aleatico grape. The grape has been rediscovered in the last few decades, even if the existence has been declared since the 12th century. In fact, Federico Barbarossa (Holy Roman Emperor from 1155) was said to have become of fan of the wine after conquering the Castle of Morro d'Alba. Despite its ancient heritage and distinctive style, Lacrima-based wines from Morro d'Alba almost faced extinction.
Why did the success of these wines slowly decline? For several reasons. One is due to how these grapes "cry". The split grapes with dripping juice attract pests and diseases, making it more difficult to grow and work with, so winemakers started to replace the vines with grapes that were easier to cultivate and more productive. The other is that during the 70's & 80's, Lacrima could do little to compete with the rising popularity of Italy's other more famous wines, such as Chianti and Barolo. In fact, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba only gained official recognition in 1985 when it was granted its DOC title. This long overdue recognition may well have saved the wine from extinction, because prior to 1985, plantings of Lacrima vines amounted to just 2.5 acres! But now they have expanded to over almost 100x that area.
During the 20th century when few Lacrima producers were remaining, the must (freshly crushed grape juice that contains the skins, seeds, and sometimes stems) had been mainly used for its aromatic qualities to be blended with other wines, but with time many wineries decided to work it in purity. Today it is one of the most considered red wines of the Marche region and it's a great wine for food, especially for the regional dishes.
Today, most of the Lacrima di Morro d'Alba wines, like "Dasempre", are made without refinement in wood (to preserve the fresh aromas of the juice), using carbonic maceration technique and being placed on the market in the following vintage. In other words, these are fresh wines with intense and unmistakable varietal aroma and of medium-bodied nature.
However, in addition to this base (pronounced BAH-zay) version, Lacrima di Morro d'Alba can be made 2 other ways. The superiore (pronounced SOO-pair-ee-oh-ray) classification was introduced later, which has the wines aged in oak to provide greater structure and a more oak-influenced flavor profile. The passito (pronounced PAH-see-toe) classification was established as well, which gives moderately sweet wines.
Views from vineyards of Vicari
The DOC takes the name from the central town of the wine zone, Morro d'Alba, which is located upon the hills around 6 miles from the coast of the Adriatic Sea. It stands on a priviledged position, in fact in town you can look over the sea and the shores of Senigallia and the old town of Jesi, which are just 6-9 miles away. The town enjoys nice views and a medieval atmosphere as its origins go far back in time. The countryside was already populated during the Roman Empire. The name indicates the "morra" or boundary stone, "sull'alba" on the hill, that used to define the borders between the two medieval counties of Senigallia and Jesi. Today, the town is still encircles by its ancient protective walls, keeping the original footprint of the old center in tact, with its narrow lanes, piazzas, and brick buildings standing just like they have for hundreds of years.
The winery Vicari is located in Morro d'Alba with 55 acres of vineyards. They mostly grow Lacrima and Verdicchio, with a little of Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Moscato.
These hilly areas, just 12 miles from the coast at the furthest point, are positively affected by the Adriatic influences and are included in the temperate oceanic climate zone, particularly suitable for viticulture.
The area has unique characteristics both as regards the soil (consisting of a matrix of pelitic-calcarenitic or pelitic-clay rocks) and for the orography, environment and position of the territory, characterized among other things also by a long and ancient wine tradition.
Vicari is a historical family of the town of Morro d’Alba and has been connected to the viticulture for centuries. After long research conducted by the family, they discovered in the public archives of the city documents related to their ancestor, Fracino de Rigo, who lived in the town during the last decade of the 1400s.
Today, the winery is a small, family-owned company, managed by Nazzareno and his children Vico and Valentina. The Vicari were “quelli del pozzo buono”, literally translated “those of the good well” because in their “contrada” there was, and there still is, a big water well from which all the local people used to get drinking water for home. This story is exhibited on all their wine labels as “Dasempre del Pozzo Buono”.
Nazzareno started to bottle the first wine in 1990- 200 bottles of Verdicchio and Lacrima, demonstrating the long tradition of winemaking of the family. During the 21st century, Vico and Valentina joined their father with the goal of giving continuity to their passion, contributing to the structural and technical modernization of the production and to the internalization of the brand in Europe and all over the world. Vico and Nazareno are taking care of the production while Valentina is focused on the national and international sales.
Valentina, Nazzareno & Vico Vicari
"Dasempre" Lacrima di Morro d'Alba is a very drinkable, fresh red wine and can be paired with lots of different local Marche products: salame lardellato di Fabriano and salame ciauscolo (typical salame of Marche that's so soft it can be spread on bread like butter). Traditional dishes like pasta with meat sauces (chicken and beef mostly) or white meat based dishes (pork, roasted turkey, rabbit and duck) also make great pairings.
In our opinion, this wine is exceptional with more elaborated seafood dishes like the typical brodetto all'anconetana (a fish stew) of the Marche region.
Click the link below to get this recipe pairing!
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