Last March I visited one of my favorite Italian wine regions: Le Marche. There I participated in Piceno Open, a trade show, where I had the opportunity to taste some amazing white and red wines. If you want to read some background information about the Ascoli-Piceno wine region first then follow this link to read my post about Piceno Open.
Frequent readers of Vino in Love probably already know that I have a part-time job at an Italian wine shop. When customers ask me for summer wine recommendations I often recommend a Pecorino. Most of the time I get responses like “A what..?” I don’t know about your country but here in Germany Pecorino is still mostly associated with cheese and only a minority of my customers actually knows that Pecorino is also the name of a white grape variety which is mostly grown in Abruzzo and Le Marche. This light-skinned grape variety is found in a number of DOC wines and in the Offida DOCG wine. Pecorino is an old grape variety that originated in the Sibillini Mountains, a mountain group between Le Marche and Umbria that are part of the Apennines.
Pecorino makes excellent varietals but it can also be blended with Trebbiano and Passerina. The most important Pecorino blend is Falerio DOC, which traditionally is composed of 33% Pecorino, 33% Passerina and 33% Trebbiano. In comparison to Trebbiano and Passerina, Pecorino has a rather low-yield making it sometimes less profitable for wineries to produce it. Pecorino is known for its complex bouquet and fresh taste.
Artemisia Tenuta Spinelli
Artemisia Tenuta Spinelli is a family-owned winery located in Castignano in the province of Ascoli-Piceno. The vineyard is rather small with just 4 hectares and only Pecorino is cultivated. The winery also produces a Passerina but they buy the grapes for that wine from grape grower.
So why do I review a wine from such a small winery that is hardly available anywhere? The answer is simple: Because the 2012 Tenuta Spinelli Offida Pecorino is one of the very best Pecorino I tasted (and I’ve tasted many). Side note: This wine is also the only Pecorino that received three glasses (tre bicchieri) from the Gambero Rosso. But I don’t read the Gambero Rosso anymore and stumbled over this wine by accident and was only told about this after I tasted the wine.
The evening I arrived at Piceno Open I had a fantastic dinner with two fellow wine writers at the hotel’s restaurant. The sommelier served us each a glass of vino della casa (house wine) as aperitif. All three of us loved the wine so we asked for a full bottle of it. The wine turned out to be the 2012 Tenuta Spinelli Offida Pecorino and little did we know that this would become our favorite Pecorino of the trip. A few days later we found out that the hotel was owned by a relative of Simone Spinelli, owner and winemaker of Tenuta Spinelli so we were quite lucky that the hotel carried this wine.
Before our departure the kind hotel staff gave us some bottles of Tenuta Spinelli Pecorino as a present. I keep looking for this wine but it’s seems to be impossible to find. Luckily I’m going back to Ascoli-Piceno in August and I will definitely try to take some more bottles of this wine back to Munich.
Anyways, let’s get to the tasting notes. The wine is produced with 100% Pecorino and aged in stainless steel vats for around five months. The wine’s appellation is Offida Pecorino DOCG.
In the glass the wine had greenish color.
On the nose there were aromas of pear, white flowers, peaches, and lemon. The nose was complex and intense.
On the palate the wine was dry, light, slightly salty and mineralic. The Pecorino had a refreshing acidity and was a little fruity. A juicy and amazingly tasty wine! Overall well-balanced and of good harmony. Lingering aftertaste.
The winery doesn’t have a website (as far as I know) but you can connect with them via Facebook. According to Slow Wine, an Italian wine guide, the wine has a retail price of 9€. If Tenuta Spinelli had an importer to Munich I’d buy the wine by the case and drink it all summer long. So remember this wine. Some day you might stumble over it and get the opportunity to taste this world-class Pecorino. If you visit Le Marche make sure to try this wine and you will see why I love it so much! Cheers!