Mon 4 Feb 2013
A grape we don’t see much in the United States of America is vernaccia rosso di pergola, which has numerous synonyms in its native Le Marche region in Italy and is no relation to the vernaccia di San Gimignano grape associated with the celebrated hill-town of that name in Tuscany. In fact, we don’t see a lot of wines from Marche (“MAR-kay”), a rustic and mountainous state that shares a long border to the west with Umbria and faces the Adriatic Sea on the east. Long one of the most sparsely populated of the Italian states and one of the poorest, Marche retains a large measure of its traditional rural atmosphere while undergoing, especially since the 1980s, the emergence of industries devoted to furniture, leather goods, footwear and household appliances and the attendant rise in prosperity.
The Angelini family has owned its 200-acre estate for three generations, though only a small portion of the property is planted to vines. The estate is run on organic methods, with no use chemical herbicides, pesticides or insecticides. Also not used are small oak barrels; instead, wines are matured in 1,000 to 2,000-liter casks. The French Bordeaux-style barrique has a 225-liter capacity.
The Angelini Pergola Rosso 2011, Marche, offers a medium ruby-cherry color and beguiling aromas of dried cherries, mulberries, rose petals and graphite. Despite the relative lightness of the color and a smooth, airy texture — there’s nothing extracted or ponderous here — the wine feels dense and chewy enough that our yen for a bit of substance and weight is satisfied, while we are equally gratified by its flavors of spiced and slightly macerated red and black cherries and currants and an underlying touch of briery tannins. Spanking acidity keeps the wine fresh and lively, while the finish is dry and tinged with some foresty austerity. 12.5 percent alcohol. Nothing to worry your pretty little heads about, My Readers, but a perfect pizza wine, which was how we drank it, and also appropriate with pastas and braised meat. Now through 2014. Very Good+. About $17.
Imported by Angelini Wines, Centerbrook, Conn. A sample for review. Map from cellarstockerunfiltered.blogspot.com.