Bisci, “Vigna Fogliano”
Verdicchio di Matelica 2011
The Region: Marche
Marche, located on the Adriatic coast, is one of Italy’s most charming, unspoiled regions. Moving west from the beaches, the landscape is dominated by rolling hills. Further inland the terrain becomes mountainous, and it is here that the Apennines form a natural border with Toscana and Umbria. “Marchigiano” cuisine is never fussy, and skews toward the rustic and rural. A classic family meal would feature the bounty of the local hills and forests, and might include wild mushrooms, smoked pork sausage, fresh herbs, and if you’re really lucky some of the marvelous local truffles.
Dinner along the coast would of course consist of the bounty of the nearby sea, with lots of clams, fish stew, prawns and the like. It just so happens that the Marche’s greatest contribution to the world of wine, Verdicchio, is a perfect match for a meal of fresh seafood!
The Wine: Bisci, “Vigna Fogliano”, Verdicchio di Matelica 2011
Verdicchio is truly one of Italy’s greatest white varietals, making wines of exceptional purity and vigor, with excellent mid-term ageing potential. Verdicchio di Matelica, a DOC since 1967, is the lesser known neighbor of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. Set further inland, and so at a bit higher elevation, this small region of hilly vineyards and family owned wineries is producing some of central Italy’s most exciting white wines.
Castiglione Bisci was founded in 1982 by Pierino and Giuseppe Bisci. They farm their vineyards as naturally as possible, employing organic practices but eschewing the paperwork and rigmarole required to become officially certified. Fogliano is a 4 hectare vineyard sitting 300+ meters above sea level. The soils here are calcareous clay, and the southern exposure ensures a long and even ripening of the grapes. The vineyard was replanted in the late 70’s, so the vines are now approaching 40 years of age, and are producing gorgeous fruit.
The 2011 Fogliano is 100% Verdicchio and sees no oak, instead spending 15 months in cement before being bottled. The nose is super bright and fresh, featuring fresh lemon peel, crushed rock and a hint of sea spray. The palate is crisp and lively, with stone fruit, citrus and a mineral finish.
The Five Ws
Who: Pierino and Giuseppe Bisci.
What: One of Italy’s most exciting white wines, this is 100% Verdicchio.
When: Featured for the entire month of August at Babbo! The Bisci is being paired with Chard Ravioli and a Snail and Mushroom Ragu. The angular and focused minerality of this wine is a perfect complement to the richness of the pasta.
Where: Verdicchio di Matelica DOC, 1000 feet up in the hills of the Marche.
Why: Because it’s summer, it’s hot outside, and Verdicchio is totally delicious AND refreshing!