MARCHE - ITALY
“A very rare estate in Italy that devotes itself completely to just one grape, Verdicchio. The Sartarelli family have raised Verdicchio wine making to an art form, and nobody produces as many successful wines from the grape as they do. The Verdicchio Balciana is especially grand, undoubtedly one of Italy’s twenty best white wines: made from late harvested grapes grown in a beautiful amphitheatre, this single vineyard wine is only ever made in the best years… It is the most Alsatian-like of Italy’s white wines. Wine lovers should also try the Tralivio Verdicchio, which has improved by leaps and bounds over the last five years and is now one of the best Verdicchio wines made anywhere.”- Ian D’Agata, Vinous
Located in the heart of the Marche on the west side of the Esino river, Sartarelli encompasses 66 hectares of vines located 300-350 feet above sea level. With an average vine age of 33 years and soils that are characterized by calcareous and marl stone, owners Donatella Sartarelli and her husband Patrizio Chiacchiarini are producing wines that are very terrior-driven and classic to the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC.
Donatella and Patrizio firmly believe that the wine is made in the vineyard – to this end, they practice sustainable farming, only using pesticides when absolutely necessary and allowing grasses to grow in order to replenish nutrients into the soil. During harvest, they make multiple passes through the vineyards, taking only the fruit that is at its optimal ripeness. All of the grapes are soft pressed, with fermentation for the Classico and Tralivio being done in stainless steel and the Balciana and Passito in cement. No oak is used at all, allowing for the purity of the fruit to come through. The end result are artisan wines that are clean, soft, and layered with complexity.
Sartarelli Verdicchio Castelli dei Jesi Classico Superiore ‘Balciana’ 2012
Ian D’Agata, Vinous -"The world’s greatest wines transcend the grape variety they are made from or even the place they are made. They offer the best possible expression that can derive from the combination of magical site, variety and human talent. For example, there are many Montrachets, but Leflaive and DRC versions are a step above anything else produced from those hallowed vines; there are many Pomerol or Merlot wines made all over the world, but what Pétrus achieves is quite unlike anything else anywhere. And though less famous and less well-known to the general public than some of the aforementioned great wine names, the same holds true of the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore ‘Balciana’ made by the Sartarelli family in the Marche. Simply put, though there are some truly great Verdicchio wines (Villa Bucci’s Riserva springs to mind), no other Verdicchio is anything like Balciana.
Luminous pale golden-tinged yellow. Aromatic nuances of sweet spices and dried flowers complement candied pineapple, crystallised ginger, lemon oil and marzipan aromas and flavours. Very pure and refined despite being a full-bodied, rich wine. Finishes very long, suave and with a refreshing floral lift. Outstanding wine that shows none of the heat-induced aromatic compression of many other 2012 Italian white wines. Best from 2018 - 2025.”