Monday, 9 May 2011

An Italian discovery

Falerio dei Colli Ascolani DOC is hard to find. It doesn't exist in most wine books, even the indispensable Hugh Johnson Pocket Wine Book 2010 draws a blank. The little known appellation is in the Marche, the central coastal region of eastern Italy. Falerio dei Colli Ascolani is a DOC for white wines made from a traditional blend of Trebbiano, Passerina, and Pecorino (the grape variety, not the cheese!). 

The producer, Saladini Pilastri, was the first winery in the Piceno area to achieve the prestigious Tre Bicchieri award from Italy's wine bible the Gambero Rosso. The winemaking is overseen by celebrated enologist Alberto Antonini and the vineyards are clasified as organic since they are kept without the use of chemical fertilizers. While the wines are not amongst Italy's most well known, they are well regarded. Wine Advocate raves about the wines of Saladini Pilastri, which regularly receive scores of 90 and above.

I didn't make a tasting note but it was an interesting wine with a richer palette than other Italian varietals and pleasant minerality: 2* 6/10. It turns out that the same wine was stocked by Berry Brothers who noted the following:
Falerio is the appellation, a little known enclave of The Marche, in the centre of Italy. The producer, Saladini Pilastri, has been making organic wine since 1995 and this example, which includes the rare grape varieties of Passerina and Pecorino, is delightfully lemon oil and fennel-scented, and is crisp, dry, intriguing and compelling.
Finally, not only do Saladini Pilastri make excellent wines, they are also not bad with a camera. The website has some great photos, perfect for vinuous escapism...
The vineyards
The surrounding area
The Colli Ascolani

The clock tower in Spinetoli

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