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Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio (Riserva)

Marche's most famous wine has fueled greatness for more than a millennium. It is said that when the Visigoths marched to Rome in the 4th century, they quenched their thirst by drinking Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesite. Today this huge DOCG zone produces one of the most famous white wines of central Italy.

The highly acidic Verdicchio grape (the name means "little green") produces a fresh yet powerful wine here, with a mineral edge that speaks to the limestone and clay soils around the rivers that flow to the Adriatic. This DOCG's Classico zone covers nearly 90 percent of the region, so it's not hard to find a classic example of a tried-and-true vineyard.

The Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva used to be part of the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC. However, in 2010 it became a DOCG and in 2011 the name changed to Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva DOCG. As the unaged white wine Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi DOC, this wine is made from the Verdicchio grape (85–100%) with the allowed addition of other local green grapes (0–15%). The grapes are grown in an area that extends slightly west of Ancona, along the Esimo River, down to the Musone River. Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva DOCG is now considered one of the best white wines in Italy, but the wine varies from producer to producer. Some wines are fresh and light, with a light green-yellow touch, others are more golden and very rich. The aroma is characteristic and the finish is slightly bitter, sometimes with hints of wood from barrel maturation.

If the label says "Classico", it means that the grapes are grown in the southernmost two-thirds of the zone, the oldest authentic area. The minimum mandatory aging period for Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva DOCG is 18 months, starting after December 1 of the harvest. At least 6 months of refining in the bottle is required before it is put on the market.