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  Wine Producers Issue 3, December 2002   
Monte SchiavoMonte Schiavo Cellar JournalCellar Journal  Contents 
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Monte Schiavo

In the heart of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi's area (Marches, Italy) this winery produces excellent white wines as well as surprising red wines

 Talking about Marches, an enchanting region of center Italy, the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is surely one of the first wines that come to mind, it surely is not the only one, but among the most representative grapes and wines of the region Verdicchio surely has one of the most prominent positions. It is in the heart of the production area of this excellent wine, encircled by pleasing hilly spurs, that we find the headquarters of Monte Schiavo, a winery that produces white wines, including the famed and renowned Verdicchio, as well as red wines such as Rosso Conero, Rosso Piceno and Lacrima di Morro d'Alba.


Monte Schiavo's cellar for bottle
refinement
Monte Schiavo's cellar for bottle refinement

 We met the managing director of Monte Schiavo, Mr. Gianluigi Calzetta, who illustrated and introduced us to the winery: «Monte Schiavo was established in 1978 as a cooperative business because of the will of many members and the most important of them was represented by Pieralisi family. In 1995, as a consequence of some disagreement among some members, the cooperative was quit and Pieralisi family bought the winery that currently is called as “La Vite S.p.A.”».

 Like we said, the winery is located in the area of production and of controlled denomination of origin (DOC) of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and this wine, as well as the grape used to make it, represents an important aspect for Monte Schiavo, as said by Mr. Calzetta: «Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi represents 60% of our total income and it surely is the most important product for our winery. Verdicchio is one of the most ancient vines for which historical evidences can be found and when it is cultivated and processed properly, it is capable of producing extremely important products. Verdicchio is a very versatile grape which allows the production of many types of wine, it is an important and robust vine and it can withstand to cold climate very well. Thanks to the grape's versatility, we produce many styles of Verdicchio and precisely Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classic, Superior, Reserve, Passito (sweet) as well as a sparkling wine made by using the Charmat method. The grapes used for the production of base Verdicchio are harvested from September 20 and the first days of October, whereas grapes for the Superior Verdicchio, reserve and late harvests, are harvested later. Passito is produced by allowing the grapes to dry in the vine, in the hope of having favorable meteorological conditions, as recently we had bad weather here.»

 Monte Schiavo does not mean Verdicchio only, of course. The winery pays particular attention on local grapes as well as on the traditional products of these lands, particularly on Lacrima di Morro, a local grape that was recently revaluated and it is widely appreciated and highly esteemed by the winery. Concerning this aspect, Mr. Calzetta illustrates the other products of Monte Schiavo: «our winery is located outside the DOC production area of Lacrima di Morro d'Alba and we are among the few wineries that produce this wine. We produce Lacrima di Morro d'Alba since a very long time, even before the area was designated and entitled as area of controlled origin. In order not to penalize the historical wineries that produced Lacrima di Morro and that are located outside of the DOC area, a special derogation has been specifically granted and therefore we can continue producing this wine. Lacrima di Morro is a very ancient grape, unfortunately it is currently not widely known. Unfortunately it is not properly revaluated, even by producers of Marches and they usually use this grape in order to add color and aromas to a wine, and it is scarcely used by itself in order to make wine. Fortunately there are some wineries that revaluated this grape and worked hard in order to produce wines exclusively made with this grape and this has been a striking success. Our winery, also thanks to our decennial experience in producing wine with Lacrima di Morro, is by now one of the most important producers for this wine. To be honest, we are not the only ones to be acclaimed for having revaluated the Lacrima di Morro, the merit of this revaluation also goes to Mancinelli winery who strongly believed in this grape.»


 

 Among the red berried grapes found in the Marches, a prominent position is for Sangiovese and Montepulciano, the grapes used to produce the Rosso Piceno and Rosso Conero. Talking about Rosso Piceno produced at Monte Schiavo, Mr. Calzetta says: «we have vineyards that produce both Sangiovese and Montepulciano and this allows us to produce Rosso Piceno. These vineyards are located in the Rosso Piceno DOC area. We cannot produce Rosso Piceno Superiore from these vineyards because the grapes must come from a very delimited and small area in the province of Ascoli Piceno. However, thanks to the support of our wine maker, we produce in his winery, located in the province of Ascoli Piceno, Rosso Piceno Superiore as well, therefore in our production we have both Rosso Piceno and Rosso Piceno Superiore. This is an important wine, unfortunately it is not widely known, but it is rapidly emerging on the scene and it is giving us lots of satisfactions. This wine certainly suffered the notoriety of the neighboring Rosso Conero, last but not the least, the fact that the province of Ascoli Piceno has been for a very long time ignored as a wine producing area, however I believe in the forthcoming years Rosso Piceno will be highly revaluated and it will probably become one of the most important wines of the region.»

 The area of Castelli di Jesi, the area where Monte Schiavo's headquarters are located, inevitably make us talk about Verdicchio: «the view of this area is wonderful, this valley, that begins from the mountains and is extended as far as the Adriatic sea, is particularly suited for the cultivation of vine; many historical documents say the grape as well as its cultivation was present on this territory since some thousands years. The area is named as “Castelli di Jesi” because every town of the area still has its own “castello”, (Italian for “castle”) a feature that was the reason why they decided to name this area like that. This is a valley where it is very pleasing to work in, both for the opportunities of the territory's products and for the joy of living in a such beautiful view. Verdicchio is a wine not really considered and esteemed for what it is in reality, maybe this is also because of our faults. Verdicchio is a great grape and this is demonstrated by the fact that it allows us to produce many types of wine, which are particularly versatile and can be matched with many foods, not just with fish, but also with certain foods where red wines are usually matched to. According to some recent scientific researches, it seems that Verdicchio is among the white berried grapes having a high contents in phenolic compounds, just like red wines, so the analogy with this kind of wines may be obvious. In case this theory is going to be confirmed, we could also end up supporting the idea that Verdicchio has the very same beneficial effects of red wine for health.»


The cosy Monte Schiavo's wine shop
The cosy Monte Schiavo's wine shop

 Talking about production aspects in Monte Schiavo, Mr. Calzetta says: «in this moment the quantity of grapes harvested in the vineyards of our property allows us to completely satisfy our production needs. We currently have vineyards cultivated with Verdicchio for 105 hectares (about 259 acres), 10 hectares (about 25 acres) cultivated with Lacrima di Morro and 15 hectares (about 37 acres) cultivated with other red species. In recent times our winery's production has drastically increased and we estimate it will continue to increase: from 1996 to now, our sales have increased threefold, therefore we believe we will probably need grape from other producers in the future vintages. Possible grape providers will be selected by our winery anyway and they will work on the vineyard according the directions of our agronomist, Dr. Capogrossi». Talking about production, let's focus on past productions of Verdicchio «in our cellar we still have bottles of vintages from 1995 to 2001 of “Pallio di San Floriano”, just because we believe this particular wine has particular characteristics of aging and the majority of bottles are still in perfect conditions and confirm the great versatility of Verdicchio as well as its qualities.» Talking about this year's production, Mr. Calzetta express his anticipations: «despite this year has been characterized by unfavorable meteorological conditions, the 2002 will be a good year, after all. The good meteorological conditions we had during the harvest favored us, however to better take the opportunities of the period, we worked on the vineyard and thinned out the vines and we decided to take the risk of delaying the harvest. Our decision turned to be good and we have been successful in harvesting grapes which had a good content of sugar as well as good quality. Considering this year's meteorological conditions, I sincerely thought of having a very bad vintage, indeed, we will have a good vintage, surely not the best, but surely good anyway.»

 Talking about countries where Monte Schiavo's products are sold, Mr. Calzetta says «our wines are present in the entire Italian territory and we are present in every continent of the world as well. Of course, there are countries where our presence is marginal. Our reference markets are Europe, United Stated of America and Japan. We are also present in China, Australia, New Zealand, South America and Center America. Verdicchio is favorably welcomed by the markets of the world because consumers are finally getting a better knowledge about wine. The best advantage of Verdicchio is the excellent quality to price ratio. When consumers realize a good Verdicchio can just cost about € 4,00 and this wine has nothing less than other and more expensive wines, they are pleasantly impressed and they appreciate it. After having been the most representative wine of Italy, Verdicchio has had a declining era, mainly because of some mistakes made by some producers, therefore the consumers and the market lost their interest for this wine. With time we understood the most important thing in order to properly revaluate Verdicchio is quality and this process must begin in the vineyard, nowadays, thanks to the renewed efforts, Verdicchio is a wine which is getting more and more back to its prestigious position.»

 Let's see in detail Monte Schiavo's products: «“Pallio di San Floriano” is a late harvest and it classified as a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Superiore. In the last four years, this wine has always been rated as the best one of its types. The grapes used for its production come from the vineyards of Fossato and Tassanare, and we have a yield of 70 quintals per hectare (about 6.8 tons/acre) and it is not refined in wood. “Bando di San Settimio”, which is produced with the same base wine of “Pallio di San Floriano”, is refined in barrique, a characteristic that, according to our philosophy, cannot prevail over wine. One of our most important products is “Le Giuncare”, a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva produced with grapes harvested in vineyards at low yield, about 70 quintals per hectare, (about 6.8 tons/acre) and it is usually released on the market after two years from harvest. Recently we started producing a very limited quantity of unfiltered “Pallio di San Floriano” and the results we get have been truly encouraging and we are thinking about releasing it to the market the next year. Another important wine we produce is “Archè”, a passito (sweet) wine that can be matched with spicy cheese and pastry, it is produced in limited quantities and the grapes are allowed to dry in the vine. For the first time, this year we produced a Rosso Conero called “Adeodato”, the wine is named after the founder of the Pieralisi group. This wine is produced with very low yields, 55 quintals per hectare, (about 5.4 tons/acre) and we only use Montepulciano grape. The result is a wine of great importance and high prestige, which gave us lots of satisfaction and made our efforts worth of it. Rosso Piceno Superiore “Sassaiolo” is produced with grapes cultivated in the Offida area and are processed by our wine maker in the province of Ascoli Piceno. One of our wines which is among the most looked for, is “Lacrima di Morro d'Alba”, a wine which is particularly liked by our consumers. This is a wine having intense aromas of red berried fruit and they can even be perceived as the wine is being poured in the glass. It has an intense pomegranate color and an unsuspicious full body, it is supposed to be drunk in its young age when its pleasing fruit aromas are well expressed and developed. Our winery is investing a lot on Lacrima di Morro d'Alba because we are convinced this wine will have a great future and we are even thinking of starting a new production winery expressly dedicated to this wine in the DOC area of Lacrima di Morro d'Alba.»

 




Score legend

Fair    Pretty Good    Good
Very Good    Excellent
Wine that excels in its category Wine that excels in its category
Prices are to be considered as indicative. Prices may vary according to the country
or the shop where wines are bought




Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Coste del Molino 2001, Monte Schiavo
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Coste del Molino 2001
Monte Schiavo
Grapes: Verdicchio
Price: € 4,15 Score:
The wine shows a light straw yellow color with nuances of greenish yellow. At the nose denotes elegant and pleasing aromas, mainly intense aromas of fruits, where the main perceived aromas are of citrus fruits, pineapple, almonds, apple, pear and peach. Flower aromas follow such as hawthorn and broom. The mouth denotes from the very beginning a flavor of almond, typical of the Verdicchio. The wine has a good intensity of flavors as well as a good alcohol which is balanced by the wine's crispness and sapidity. The finish is persistent with evident flavors of apple and pear followed by a pleasing hint of almond.
Food Match: Pastas, Risottos, Boiled fish



Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Bando di San Settimio
2000}
, Monte Schiavo
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Bando di San Settimio 2000
Monte Schiavo
Grapes: Verdicchio
Price: € 8,05 Score:
The wine's appearance has a beautiful light straw yellow color with nuances of greenish yellow. At the nose denotes an aroma of vanilla because of the short aging in barrique, however this aroma does not cover or prevail over the typical aromas of Verdicchio. The wine's also has intense fruit aromas such as ripe apple, peach and litchi. The wine's bouquet is completed by a series of aromas of hawthorn, vanilla flavored sugar and a hint of sun warmed stone. The mouth has a good balance and intensity where the alcohol is well balanced by the wine's crispness and sapidity. The wine is also round and pleasing, having good elegance. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of peach and vanilla flavored sugar with a hint of wood flavors. This wine is aged in barrique for 3 months and then a final refinement in bottle follows.
Food Match: Broiled fish, White meats, Eggs, Fish soups, Stuffed pastas



Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Pallio di San
Floriano 2001}
, Monte Schiavo
Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore Pallio di San Floriano 2001
Monte Schiavo
Grapes: Verdicchio
Price: € 4,64 Score:
The wine shows a beautiful and intense straw yellow color, very firm. The nose is rich and full, the bouquet has intense aromas of fruit such as apricot, apple, pear, peach and almond followed by pleasing flower aromas such as broom and hawthorn. The wine's bouquet is elegantly completed by hints of honey and rosemary. In the mouth the wine has an excellent balance and the alcohol, present in good quantity, is well balanced by the wine's crispness and sapidity. The mouth also has intense flavors of peach and apple as well as the typical Verdicchio's flavor of almond. The finish is persistent with flavors of apple, peach and almond followed by a very agreeable hint of rosemary. A very well done wine, a worth representative of the wines for its type.
Food Match: Pastas with fish, Fish, White meats, Soups



Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2001, Monte Schiavo
Lacrima di Morro d'Alba 2001
Monte Schiavo
Grapes: Lacrima di Morro
Price: € 5,70 Score:
The wine catches the eye for its beautiful ruby red color with evident nuances of purplish red, moderate transparency. The nose denotes the typical aromas of the Lacrima di Morro, mainly fruity such as black cherry, strawberry and raspberry elegantly completed by an intense and pleasing aroma of rose flower. All the aromas are very clean and intense. The mouth has a good correspondence with the nose and it is intense, good balance between alcohol and tannins, delicate and elegant. The finish is persistent with evident flavors of raspberry and rose flower. This wine is refined in stainless steel containers for about one year and then it is aged for one year more in casks.
Food Match: Meat appetizers, White meats



Rosso Conero Conti Cortesi 1999, Monte Schiavo
Rosso Conero Conti Cortesi 1999
Monte Schiavo
Grapes: Montepulciano, Sangiovese
Price: € 5,76 Score:
The wine shows an intense ruby red color, moderate transparency. The nose denotes intense aromas of black cherry, blueberry and black currant followed by vanilla, licorice, chocolate and a hint of coffee. The mouth has a good correspondence with the nose. The attack is slightly crisp promptly followed by the effects of tannins, well balanced with alcohol. The finish is persistent with evident flavors of fruit, in particular black cherry and black currant. This wine is produced with a long maceration in skins followed by a refinement in casks and in bottle.
Food Match: Stuffed pastas, Roasted meat, Broiled meat



Rosso Piceno Superiore Sassaiolo 2000, Monte Schiavo
Rosso Piceno Superiore Sassaiolo 2000
Monte Schiavo
Grapes: Sangiovese, Montepulciano
Price: € 4,21 Score:
The wine has a beautiful and intense ruby red color, moderate transparency. At the nose are perceived pleasing and agreeable aromas of rhubarb which support intense aromas of black cherry, strawberry, blueberry and hints of chocolate and mint. The wine has a good body and the alcohol is well balanced with the tannins, well fused, and good correspondence with the nose. The finish is persistent with pleasing flavors of black cherry and rhubarb.
Food Match: Braised meat, Broiled meat, Moderately hard cheese



La Vite - Monte Schiavo - Via Vivaio - 60060 Monteschiavo di Maiolati Spontini, Ancona (Italy) - Tel. +39 0731 700385 Fax. +39 0731 703359 - Winemaker: Pierluigi Lorenzetti - Established: 1978 - Production: 1300000 bottles - E-Mail: monteschiavo@puntomedia.it - WEB: www.monteschiavo.it


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Cellar Journal


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