2020 Agricola Romanelli, Grechetto dei Colli Martani DOC, Umbria, Italy.
One of the best deals in skin contact white wines I’ve tasted, the 2020 Romanelli Grechetto dei Colli Martani is a delicious ripe and intense dry white wine that is every bit as well made and geeky cool as Paolo Bea’s and ridiculously affordable, at least for now. The appearance and taste is unique here with a deep straw yellow color, almost lurid in the glass, making you think it might be a year more years old than it is and it is surprisingly full and warm on the palate, while still stingingly dry and flinty with an array of fruits that lean on fleshy stony apricot, peach, quince, mirabelle and tangerine as well as having some gripping extract, green herbs, bitter almond, wet and salty stones and subtle white blossoms. This wine is one of the clean and authentic regional wines produced by this winery that has caught the attention of Gambero Rosso and Slow Wine that highlights the rise in quality here and Romanelli’s reds are from the Montefalco zone and are made mainly from the legendary Sagrantino grape, which makes for the most powerful wines in Umbria, and after having this stellar effort I am excited to try the rest of their wines.
The Grechetto grape, native to this region typically is used to make fresh light wines without much character or complexity, but when done right it can be really pleasing and have intriguing mineral driven flavors and a medium body. Grechetto or Grechetto Bianco is a widely planted Italian varietal believed to be of Greek origins and found throughout central Italy, particularly here in Umbria, as well as in Lazio, just to the north of Rome. The Grechetto dei Colli Martani DOC is one of the most respected regional terroir influenced wines of Umbria, but is far from the mainstream view of most American wine drinkers and much less common than it’s more well known cousin in the Orvieto zone. Romanelli’s grapes, all holistically farmed by hand, for this wine come from the vineyards of Colle San Clemente set on clayey and limestone soils and located at 350 meters above sea level. The grapes are vinified, after a skin maceration, in exclusively stainless steel to preserve the natural profile here and heighten to typical minerality in this wine, while natural acidity is preserved it is also quite heady with 15% natural alcohol, though it doesn’t feel overt or hot. This Romanelli Grechetto dei Colli Martani, which has a slight Riesling like petrol note, is an exciting wine and goes great with a range of cuisine choices from chicken to cheese.
($16) 92 Points, grapelive