Morro d’Alba, Marche
Stefano Mancinelli established his winery in the 70’s; he and his wife Elena are helped by Stefano’s father and their eldest son, Luca, is now also an essential part of the team, they have created something very special.
This is not the only estate that stuck with Lacrima di M’orro D’Alba through the dark days, but I doubt anybody has worked as tirelessly as Stefano to promote it at tastings and events throughout Italy and Europe, he regularly covers sixty thousand miles a year in his overworked Merc. The ever growing community of Lacrima producers owe him quite a debt.
Their vineyard is planted with Lacrima and Verdicchio (there is a little Moscato, I’ll come back to that.)
Lacrima is a grape originally found only around the town of Morro d’Alba, hence the grape’s long name, The DOC now allows planting in the surrounding villages, who can borrow the same name. Morro d’Alba is one of the Castelli di Jesi (Castle towns of the Jesi province) and so the Verdicchio grown in this area carries this title.
The vineyards are on sandy clays on limestone, they are farmed with a ‘minimum impact’ ethic – Stefano has little time for certification organisations. The drainage is excellent and hail extremely rare, importantly the Adriatic supplies an almost constant cooling breeze that also keeps the vines healthy.
Remarkably 80% of their wine is sold from Mancinelli’s cellar door so there isn’t that much left for overseas markets which somehow feels right, there is a very human scale to this family business.
Every product is cast from the land by these three generations of Mancinelli men, there is quite a range and no fear of experimentation but the core is uninterrupted, Lacrima and Verdicchio.
Unusually Stefano also established a distillery, pocket sized and excellent.
His grappas from Lacrima and Verdicchio are the best available and there is also a mildly insane ‘Prima Uva’ (made from grapes, not skins) of Moscato which is bottled at 70%.
He also has an Olearia on the premises which he has now expanded into the production of flavoured oils, as well as a couple of holiday apartments in this beautiful, small historic town just 10 minutes inland from the Adriatic.
Jasmine and lime, a beautifully perfumed and delicate vintage, really mineral with fresh-cut pineapple, grapefruit, honey and tarragon flavours.Learn More£12.50 As low as: £11.90
Pear, lychee and white flower aromas, beautifully textured with wild honey and candied lemon, grapefruit and ripe herb. The flavours linger and develop well after the glass has emptied, a complex mineral wine that will develop intensity over the next few years.Learn More£15.00 As low as: £14.26
Turkish delight and lavender on the nose, fresh, almost citrus, soft berry fruit with a tight mineral style which is remarkably palate cleansing.Learn More£15.50 As low as: £14.75
Insane violet, lavender and rose, incredible purity. Floral dark fruit, Turkish delight, blueberry and black cherry, wonderful wineLearn More£17.75 As low as: £16.00
This is like the trailer for a great Tawny port, explosive nut, date, sweet, fat honeyed fruit, (pure Christmas cake in a glass), but it is unfortified, pure and natural, none of the alcohol burn, just spectacular.Learn More
Honeyed, deep strawberry and damson fruit with violet and vanilla. Sweet, not cloying, a masterpiece.Learn More
This is from Stefano’s own Verdicchio grapes, the delicacy of flavours found in the wine is reflected in the spirit which has hints of almond and fresh cut grass. A light and clean tasting grappa, delicate and balanced.Learn More£26.75
Full and complex dry white made entirely from verdicchio. An enticing amalgam of caramelised lemon, wax and dried fruit, deep citrus and herb.Learn More£28.75
A truly unique Lacrima, the drying process introduces notes of oloroso, dark chocolate, aged balsamic and leather yet the floral elements are held and rose and violet shine through enhanced with fig and date. A desert island wine.Learn More£30.00 As low as: £28.50