As I get deeper into this list, it’s becoming harder to find new types of Italian wine in my local wine shops. I’m fortunate to live in Boston’s North End, which is it’s “little Italy”, so there is more Italian wine around than there might be in other parts of the country, but it is still starting to become more of a challenge. Other than a few obvious gaps (like Orvieto), I’ve hit most of the prominent white wine regions of Italy. It would probably be easier to find a new and interesting red Italian wine, but the 90+ degree heat in Boston didn’t really give me that option. So I hunted for an interesting white and found one from the Colli Martani DOC.
The Colli Martani DOC is one of the (many) regions in Italy that I’m not very familiar with. Colli Martani roughly translates to Hills of Martana (colli is Italian for hills and, along with colline, is often seen in the names of DOC and IGT regions). The Colli Martani DOC is in the middle of Umbria, south of Perugia, and is one of it’s largest growing regions. It includes all of the Mantefalco DOC and Montefalco Sagrantino DOCG, extending southwest from there. As with many DOC regions, there is a Bianco and Rosso wine that cane be made, along with varietal wines. The Colli Martani Bianco is based on Trebbiano, as is the case in many Umbrian white wines, with Grechetto also playing a role. The Colli Martani Rosso is a blend of Sangiovese (at least 50%) and Montepulciano. The allowed varietals varies depending on your source, but there are at least four – Grechetto, Trebbiano, Grechetto di Todi, and Sangiovese.
This wine is from the producer Antonelli San Marco. It is one of the varietals (as opposed to a Bianco or Rosso) and is 100% Grechetto. It has a clear, straw yellow or lemon appearance. The nose has medium intensity with notes of lemon, apple, and pear, along with other floral and fruit notes (a bit of blossom). There is a bit of weight to the nose as well, with a slight toastiness, characteristic of a wine that was aged in contact with yeast, which, as it turns out, is the case with this wine (the wine is kept in contact with it’s yeasts for roughly 90 after the fermentation process is complete). The palate is dry and full bodied, with a sturdy alcohol finish. There are notes of lemon, pear, a little grapefruit, and more floral notes. It has some nice acidity, though not as crisp as some of the lighter white wines you would find in Italy’s norther regions. It has a quality very reminisent of an Orvieto, which makes sense since Grechetto is one of the main components of wines produced in the Orvieto DOC. It has a clean finish, medium in length, leaving you with notes of grapefruit and apple.