Bucci Verdecchio 2018
Cabernet, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Originating from France, this trinity of noble grape varieties has come to dominate the global wine landscape, supplanting indigenous grapes from native soils of foreign lands, obliging lesser winemakers to capitulate to popular worldwide demand.
But there are a few brave souls who haven’t bowed to these French invaders. Bucci of the Castelli di Jesi in the Marche of Italy is one of them.
Brave for a reason.
In 1981, Ampelio Bucci returned to his home in the Castelli di Jesi to take the reins of his family’s estate. At that time, Italy was in the thrall of SuperTuscans (French grapes grown in Tuscany, often blended with native varieties to create an international style). But Bucci took a different path.
As a student of history, Bucci understood it was the Romans who brought the vine to France, not the other way around. If Italy had made great wine in the past, why should French wine dominate? To Bucci, the path was clear. He would reinvigorate the Marche’s twenty-five-century winemaking tradition with Italian grapes, native to Italian soils, grown by Italian hands.
The thousands of years of enological history of the Castelli di Jesi is principally the story of one grape: Verdicchio.. Verdicchio isn’t French. It doesn’t smell like Sauvignon Blanc. It doesn’t taste like Chardonnay. It’s Italian, and its uniqueness is part of its glory.
Bucci’s Verdicchio is tempered and rounded, not pungent like Sauvignon Blanc or fat like Chardonnay. Its aromas are of almonds, brown butter, rosemary and saline. And its palate makes the wine world class— broad and supple, with a strong and complex texture. Its finish is long, resolving into that prized, aged White Burgundy roasted hazelnut aroma.
Although Verdicchio is a white wine, it often finds its favorite drinkers among red wine aficionados — drinkers who want a mouth-filling, robust wine, without overwhelming tropical fruit or butter aromas. Delicious to drink now, this wine will age for ten more years in your cellar.
Thirty years ago, Ampelio Bucci was brave enough to once again make Verdicchio. Then, as now, the world doesn’t need another copycat Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. It needs unique wines, like Bucci’s Verdicchio — truly Italian, and like nothing else.
“First made in 1982, Bucci’s regular bottling is a classic. Juicy freshness, salty liquorice and a long, mineral finish. Drinking Window 2022 – 2027.” – Decanter
“The Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Villa Bucci Riserva is one of Italy’s top white wines, and also ages splendidly. It’s also a bottling of significant historic importance – the first to reveal the huge potential of the Verdicchio grape and its wines to Italy and the world.
“Ampelio Bucci worked for more than 20 years in Milan’s highly competitive and glitzy fashion industry as a consultant in design direction and marketing. Until two years ago, he also taught this subject at the Domus Academy in Milan and at one of the city’s universities, the Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione (IULM). As if all that wasn’t enough for his resumé, Bucci also happens to make two of Italy’s best white wines, including the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Villa Bucci Riserva.” – Vinous