Verdicchio is the sole grape variety in this cuvée, and Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, which translates to “Verdicchio from the Castles of Jesi,” is the DOC—or classification—of this wine. (Fun fact: Roberto Mancini, the manager of Italy’s national soccer team, who may or may not have led his team to Euro tournament glory by the time you read this, was born in the small town of Jesi.) Verdicchio is generally used for light, crisp quaffers. But in their Passolento, La Marca has eked out astonishing complexity and body from the grape. Passolento translates to “slow pace,” referring to the estate’s unusually extended aging of the wine in botti and bottle—roughly eighteen months in total. In addition to the organic farming and unfiltered bottling, the time that La Marca takes with this cuvée is no doubt what elevates it to such heights.
La Marca di San Michele in Cupramontana is run by the sibling team of Alessandro Bonci, Beatrice Bonci, and Daniela Quaresima. They are light years ahead of most of their neighbors in growing their six hectares of Verdicchio vines entirely organically, vinifying with minimal sulfur, and bottling unfiltered. Cupramontana is the birthplace of Verdicchio production in Le Marche–the region’s first vineyards were registered in 1471. La Marca refers to a “border district.” All of these territories were united to form the region of “Le Marche,” the only Italian region that takes the plural. The dynamic young leadership of La Marca is producing wines that will inspire your senses and transport you to this breathtaking land.
Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch
Drinking distilled spirits, beer, coolers, wine and other alcoholic beverages may increase cancer risk, and, during pregnancy, can cause birth defects. For more information go to www.P65Warnings.ca.gov/alcohol
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