Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Fazi Battaglia Verdicchio Classico dei Castelli di Jesi, 2004

Verdicchio is another white wine for those occasions when you're tired of the same old, same old Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs. It's a crisp high acid, low alcohol wine with intriguing aromas and flavors. And it comes in interesting hour-glass shaped bottles modeled after ancient Etruscan amphoras. Drink the wine; use the bottle as a vase.

At five years of age, Fazi Battaglia Verdicchio is a deeper yellow color than the Gruner Veltliner below, but it's still light and bright for a wine of its age. And the aromas and flavors are equally fresh--melon, white berries, green apples and a pleasing hint of bitter almond. It blends so well with the food (spinach/lemon pasta) that it's easy to lose track of this wine. But when you pay attention, there is plenty of flavor interest.


  1. Fred Fred Fred Fred Fred! As I told you before, I am not terribly knowlegable about wine...but I know what I like! Going back to the post on the Nerelo del Bastardo, as I told you I have many Italian friends and my oldest ones...a family...lives very near the Fazi Battaglia cantina. In the days before terrorists (ie. the good old days when you could bring bottles and bottles of wine home in your carry-on) I would bring the Verdicchio that they picked up for me at the cantina. I love this wine...both for wine itself which is a great departure from the same old same old of Chardonnay , but also because it reminds me of my darling Marchegiani friends!!!

  2. Oh, for the good old days when you could carry wine with you on the plane! I used to stagger under the weight of favorite bottles. If you could only carry back the experience of drinking the wine at a local sidewalk bistro in its natural environment. My favorite wines are from the Southern Rhone, in part because of the great times we had drinking and eating around Gigondas and Vaison la Romaine.

    I have one or two other posts about Fazi Battaglia that you might be interested in, Mary. Some historical background and all.

    And thanks for the research on Nerello (and Nerelo) del Bastardo. I suspected that Marchesi di Montecristo was a fancy label for another cantina. Now I can do some research on Casa Vinicola Bosco Malera and see what else they produce.

    As for "nerello," I think it is the name of a grape grown mostly in Sicily and used for red wine blends. So far, the speculation has been that Nerello del Bastardo is a blend of Nebbiolo from Piemonte and Sanviovese from Tuscany. But maybe instead it's a blend of Piedmont and Sicilian grapes. Whatever, I like the wine, and it reminds me of the inexpensive Nebbiolos (Spanna, Carema, Gattinara) I used to enjoy in the early to mid 1980s.

    You seem to have a lot of experience with Italian wines, Mary. It's good to have your input.

  3. Hey Mary, I followed up on Casa Vinicolo Bosco Malera, and they do list the Marchesi di Montecristo as one of their offerings. It is, they say, a blend of Nebbiolo (70%) and Sangiovese plus a bit of black Canaiolo. They also offer a "red bastard" which includes some Aglianico along with Nebbiolo and Sangiovese.

    The Barolos and Barbarescos produced at Casa Vinicolo Bosco Malera are the ones sold at Trader Joe's: La Loggia and Chiara. I haven't tried any of these simply because I didn't think $16 spent on a cheap Barolo (good ones sell for $40 and up) was money well spent. Given the enjoyment I have had from the Bastardo, I might reconsider and give some of these wines a try.

    Thanks again for your research. I had tried before and run into a brick wall.

  4. Hi Fred! It's me Mary. My son is bringing home that $16 Barolo (Loggia I think from TJ's...from Casa Vinicolo Bosco Malera) for Thanksgiving...seen that I'm not an expert (boy is that an understatement!)...and perhaps being moved to take pity on me...you might buy it too and let me know what you think??? Come on...be a pal! :-)

  5. Darn, Mary, I was in Trader Joe's last week (I don't get there often) and debated whether to buy the La Loggia Barolo. I even talked to the clerk about it. But I didn't buy it, and it might be awhile before I get back to Trader Joe's.

    Let me say this: I talked to the clerk who had tried it and liked it. So had another customer near by. They both thought it was much better than the La Loggia Barbaresco and the La Loggia Barbera beside it on the shelf. Barolo is a special wine and $16 (even $25) is a very good price for any Barolo. What you're paying for when you buy Barolo is not just the label but the micro-climate, soil, vines, etc. that have been producing great wines for many, many years. Most new drinkers of Barolo are struck by what they call the "dry" quality. That's basically the ageworthiness, the large quantities of fruit tannins and acid that will allow the wine to age for decades. But a young Barolo will also have a flamboyant range of flavors and smells--dark cherries, roses, licorice--that are unique.

    I bought a lot of Barolos in the late 1970s and early 1980s when they sold for $8 to $12 a bottle and often lingered on the shelves to be sold at closeout. I liked them when they were young; I liked them at 8 to 10 years of age; and at 20 years plus, they were (are) absolutely glorious. The world has learned how good Barolos can be, and the days of inexpensive Barolo are over. So I think you can take for granted that a $16 Barolo is not going to be the equivalent of a first growth Bordeaux. But it could still be very, very good, and I suspect it will be. I hope you and your son enjoy it. And the next time, I'm in Trader Joe's, I'll buy a bottle.

  6. Awesome Fred, thanks for your valuable input and further observations on the wine. I know Barolos can get very very expensive, in fact, my friends in Italy tell me that it is an expensive wine even there! I actually have another bottle of Barolo "nella cantina" (my ugly horrilbe messy basement...but calling it a "cantina" makes it seem not so bad!) that I paid I think about $35 for....still I know not exactly high end...but if we drink the Loggia first using the info that you furnished and then drink that, it will be a great way to compare! Speaking of points of reference...my son is a struggling grad student...when I asked him to pick up the Barolo, he asked me, "How much is it?" when I told him $16 he said, "Hey who do you think I am, Joe Moneybags???" :-) He was joking...but seriously, I did share your site with him. He appreciates good wine and really cannot spend a lot on it. In the end, I am trading him a 1.5 L of Goslings Black Seal Rum... and we will open the Barolo on Thanksgiving to share, so I think he actually swung a pretty good deal! Thanks again Fred, you are a nice guy. Let me know if you ever taste the Loggia, perhaps it will rate a review. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.