Thursday, 10 January 2013

Paolo Capriotti & Poderi San Lazzaro

The Capriotti Family September 2008

Montepulciano vines at Poderi San Lazzaro, September 2008
Along a dusty road up in the hills of a tiny corner of the Comune di Offida lies the Azienda Agricola San Lazzaro, home to the Capriotti family.  Martin and I had heard talk of a very special Montepulciano being produced by Poderi San Lazzaro. Upon our arrival the unassuming Paolo Capriotti greeted us with a warm smile and proceeded to give us a wonderful insight into his organic, traditional wine-making techniques and the story behind the wines that he so carefully creates.

Paolo drove us down this very steep hill in between the neatly spaced vines in his 4x4 Fiat Panda.  If you look closely you can see the dark bunches of grapes strewn on the floor as he would discard certain ones to allow space for the selected few to flourish. The vineyard is spread across two adjacent farms measuring around 35 acres with a total annual production of approximately 40,000 bottles.

Le Marche is situated in the centre-north of Italy and is dotted with beautiful cyprus and olive trees and vines which spread across the hilly landscape, alongside an untamed Adriatic coastline.

Flying in to Ancona airport allows easy access to the surrounding wine country. My only suggestion would be plan your trip well in advance and be wary of relying on a navigation system to guide you! 

Despite producing a large selection, including 13 varieties carrying the D.O.C. label, Le Marche’s wines remain little known outside Italy.

Poderi San Lazzaro produce four wines typical of the region; a fresh and light Sangiovese, a classy oak-aged Pecorino, a fabulous classical Rosso Piceno Superiore and the flagship wine, the 100% Montepulciano "Grifola" Marche Rosso. I currently have 3 cases of the excellent 2009 Rosso Piceno Superiore which I am making available exclusively to our club.  To my knowledge there are only 4 cases of the 2007 Grifola (total production was <4000 bottles) available anywhere in the world.  Paolo has one and I have one locked away in my cellar (for personal consumption!) but I have a further 2 available.

Reviews for Marche Rosso, "Grifola"
2007 Poderi San Lazzaro Grifola - 92 Points - Robert Parker
The 2007 Marche Rosso Grifola emerges from the glass with layers of dark black fruit.  It is an imposing, huge wine literally bursting at the seams.  Despite its richness the Grifola retains plenty of freshness and verve all the way through to the intense, building finish.  This is a decidedly virile wine that will require patience, but it is shaping up to be a jewel.  Anticipated maturity:  2015 - 2025. Poderi San Lazzaro is one of my favorite under the radar producers.
~Antonio Galloni - Robert Parker (June, 2011)

January Tasting Tip

I find that the easiest way to consider the acidity of a wine is to think about an apple. Some apples are overly ripe, they can taste a bit flabby and bland with no back bone or structure.  Others may be too sharp, hard and cause you to wince. The perfect apple however is crisp and balanced with a delightful crunch.  A wine with good acidity will strike the same balance and have much the same effect.

Further reading

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