2004 Brunori Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico San Nicolo

Brunori Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico San Nicolo This winter, we were driving along the Adriatic coast in Italy's Marchese on our way from Loreto to Assisi. Altogether, there were ten of us in the van, including seven Italian priests. Toss in a portable GPS device, and that meant there were eleven opinions as to which was the best way to go. We ended up taking the Ancona route because I wanted to check out the Brunori estate. We were halfway there when, all of a sudden, we're hit by a blizzard--not just any blizzard, but the biggest one to hit the region in twenty years. Outside the van is a whiteout, inside we're still arguing about the best route to take (by now a pointless argument), and before we know it we've driven right past the Brunori estate without seeing it.

Brunori is a small, family-run estate in the village of San Paolo di Jesi, just west of Ancona. The company was founded in 1956, when Mario Brunori finally convinced his accountant son, Giorgio, to quit his desk job and join him making wine. Giorgio recruited his cousins and today their children run the estate.

When the Brunoris purchased a vineyard in the San Nicolo neighborhood of San Paolo di Jesi, in 1972, they dug up the vines and replanted with Verdicchio. Three years later, they crushed their first grapes and added this estate wine to their annual release.

San Nicolo is an excellent place to plant Verdicchio thanks to its climate but above all thanks to its clayey-sandy, calcium-rich, calcareous terroir, which enhances the finesse, fragrance, and body of the wine. And, due to its elevation 200 meters above sea level, San Paolo di Jesi is protected from the summertime humidity off of the nearby Adriatic Sea and enjoys cool evenings before the harvest.

Made from 100% Verdicchio, this wine is full-bodied and intense. Its bouquet is classic Verdicchio: floral with hints of furze. The palate is dry, fresh, well-balanced, and full-bodied. Due to its particular structure, this Verdicchio can be paired with a wide variety of foods, from pasta and seafood to poultry and cheese (particularly pecorino).