The annual Wine Media Conference (formerly Wine Bloggers' Conference), went virtual this year like so many events in an effort to keep everyone safe. Fortunately WMC organizers were able to arrange a few wine tastings in which attendees were able to receive samples by mail and taste online together. One session featured wines from Velenosi winery in a tasting led by Italian wine journalist Laura Donadoni.
The family winery was founded by Angela Velenosi in 1984 in the historic Ascoli Piceni area of Marche, just 20 kilometers from Italy's Adriatic coast. The family grew the winery ambitiously over the years, and now they produce over 2.5 million bottles which are sold in Italy as well as 52 export markets. Velenosi wines have been lauded by top wine publications as well as Gambera Rosa, Luca Maroni and more.
The WMC participants at the virtual tasting of Velenosi wines were impressed by the depth of flavor and quality levels of the four wines presented during the virtual tastings. Many participants were also delighted to taste a new variety they had never tried. The virtual tasting included this selection of Velenosi wines:
Querciantica Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC Classico - Light gold in color, this wine offered citrus notes of lemon and lime on the nose and palate, along with white peaches and a slight vegetal note. The wine has high acidity as well as a touch of minerality. It was a delicious medium-bodied white that would pair well with many chicken and fish dishes.
Querciantica Lacrima di Morro DOC Superiore - This rare wine is created from the ancient Lacrima di Morro grape that is indigenous to and found almost exclusively in the Marche region. Described by Laura as a polarizing wine, this is vinified completely in stainless steel, yet offers a vanilla note that is totally from the grape as well as cherries and herbs.
Il Brecciarolo Rosso Piceno DOC Superiore - A blend of 70% Montepulciano and 30% Sangiovese, this wine had a very aromatic nose with toffee and rosemary notes. The palate offered sour cherries, medium acidity, and a long finish. Aging in used barrique mellows the wine without overwhelming the fruit with flavors imparted by oak. A delicious red that is widely distributed in the U.S.
Roggio del Filare Rosso Piceno DOC Superiore - This was an impressive, full-bodied wine with intense aromatics of black fruit, coffee, and violet. The opaque wine was inky purple with a purple rim. I enjoyed the smooth mouthfeel with well-integrated tannin. The wine offered ripe black and red fruit on the palate, and there was a very long finish. The 2019 was drinking well, but I am curious about having this wine again in five or more years.
The WMC Velenosi wine tasting allowed participants to learn about and enjoy a less-heralded region of Italy that is truly worthy of attention. I'm sure many of us will look for the wines of Velenosi in our local shops and appreciate the wines of Marche more frequently after this instructive, tasty evening.
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