By Neil Duarte
If you are like me, once you find really good wine and food, you like to return there periodically to validate your original judgment. Such was the case on a recent visit to the region of La Marche in mid-spring.Eleven years ago I first visited Cantina Fontursia and met Gianmarco Veccia and his family. I was very impressed by the Fontursia wines and said so in my article. Since then Gianmarco has become a friend, but I wanted to validate my original opinion. Thus my wife and I, along with one of our sons and his wife, met with Gianmarco and his fiancé, Darinka, at his winery on a sunny early June morning.
Since it was lunchtime, Gianmarco, Darinka and Gianmarco’s mother, Maria, prepared an assortment of local delicacies to accompany the wines being tasted. I should mention that Maria is a superb cook in the tradition of Italian country chefs. I am sorry to say that I don’t have the description of these to give to you, but they were excellent. I refer you to my earlier article if you want to know about the winemaking process for each wine.
We began the tasting with a 2022 Biologico Crivellino Passerina IGT, a 12.5% alcohol wine made from 100% Passerina grapes. I should mention that the Passerina grape, primarily found in Le Marche and Abruzzo, is beginning to receive a much higher recognition than in the past. I think that it is an excellent light white grape. The Crivellino Passerina was a very light straw in color with a pleasant fruit nose. It finished medium with a very smooth taste. Everyone was impressed by this wine and I rated it a 91.
Our second wine was a 2021 Biologico Crivellino Falerio Pecorino DOC, a 14% alcohol offering made from 100% Pecorino grapes. All of the grapes for both this wine as well as the Passerina were grown on Cantina Fontursia’s estate. The Crivellino Falerio Pecorino was a pale yellow color with a nice fruit nose. It finished very smooth and would be a great accompaniment to any seafood dish. I rated it a 93 and I believe it is one of the best Pecorinos that I have tasted.Next we tried a 2021 Biologico Marche Rosato Corbezzolo IGT, a 13% alcohol blend made from 60% Sangiovese and 40% Montepulciano grapes. The Marche Rosato Corbezzolo had a dark peach color with a strong and complex nose. It finished very smooth and would be a good addition to appetizers or as a summer drink. I rated this wine a 91.
Moving into the heavier reds, we tried a 2013 Crivellino Resirva Rosso Piceno DOC, a 14% alcohol blend of 60% Montepulciano and 40% Sangiovese grapes. The Crivellino Resirva Rosso Piceno was an intense dark almost purple color with a strong and complex nose. I have come to really appreciate Rosso Piceno wines and this is a superb example. It finished very long and smooth and would be a great partner with any strong meat dish. I rated this wine a 95.
Our last wine was a 2021 Crivellino Riserva Montepulciano d’Abruzzo DOC, a 14.5% alcohol, 100% Montepulciano grape offering. This wine was an even darker color than the Rosso Piceno and had a complex nose. I must admit that I have become a great fan of the Montepulciano grape wines, but this is an excellent example and I rated it a 94.
If you looked back at my early article, you will note that these ratings are higher than the original ones. I have learned more about the wines of Le Marche and I think that I have a better feel for the quality of these wines. I think that Cantina Fontursia’s wines are really excellent and I highly recommend them.
My thanks go out to Gianmarco and the Veccia family for their hospitality. If you are ever in the Ripatransone area, a visit would be worthwhile.