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 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 144, October 2015   
Contrasts of Verdicchio and Müller ThurgauContrasts of Verdicchio and Müller Thurgau Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 143, September 2015 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 145, November 2015

Contrasts of Verdicchio and Müller Thurgau

Two different grapes however both capable of expressing wines with opposed characters, yet elegant, having a quite unique personality

 The former is a great white grape indigenous to Marches, the latter was born in Germany, result of a successful crossing, it then travels to Switzerland and then to Italy. Wines produced with Verdicchio - the white berried grape queen of vineyards in Marches - have been defined by many as “reds dressed in white”. A definition that, to tell the truth, is also used for other white wines, usually for those that - when they are tasted - express a pretty robust structure. Müller Thurgau has a quite different character, having in the freshness of aromas its primary personality and, in terms of structure, its wines have a quite weaker body. Even Verdicchio, of course, gives wines expressing pleasing olfactory sensations, however the character of the two wines is quite distant one from each other, however characterized by their own elegance.


 

 These two varieties are generally used alone for the production of wines, rarely blended to other grapes. This characteristic, common to Verdicchio and Müller Thurgau, allows these two grapes to express a remarkable wine making versatility, from dry whites to sweet wines produced with dried grapes, including sparkling wines, both Charmat and Classic Method. The spreading of the two grapes, because of the characteristic of being rarely used blended to other grapes, is pretty limited. Whether Müller Thurgau is found in some regions of Italy - as well as in other areas of the world - Verdicchio is virtually found in Marches only. The rare cases in which we find Verdicchio outside the borders of its original region, it is always blended to other grapes, however, it is never the dominant grape. Two grapes, very different one from each other, certainly suited for a comparative tasting by contrast.

 Verdicchio is the main white berried grape of Marches and this region is its homeland. Verdicchio has a strong connection with Marches and, wines produced with this grape in other regions, do not express the same character and personality. The origin of Verdicchio is not clear, however it is believed to be an indigenous variety of Marches and the grape - as a matter of fact - does not have any genetic analogy with other grapes. The first written documents which could be associated to Verdicchio are dated back to the middle times. It is about notary deeds in which are described vineyards which could refer to the famous white berried grape of Marches. It is only in the half of the 1500s we can find the first written mention of Verdicchio in a document. Grape always used for the production of wine, it will be only at the end of 1700s they will finally understand its huge wine making potentials, therefore becoming - with no doubt - among the most important grapes of Marches and then of Italy.

 Castelli di Jesi and Matelica are the main areas for the production of Verdicchio, of which Cupramontana is the most significant and famous place. Verdicchio gets its name from the characteristic color of its berries - Verdicchio in Italian means something having greenish nuances - with evident green hues and that, frequently, are also found in its wines. Verdicchio is marginally spread in Abruzzo, Umbria and Latium, however in none of these regions is capable of expressing interesting results. Verdicchio is famous for its wines having a good structure and a vibrant crispness. Grape of remarkable versatility, Verdicchio proves its wine making value also in the production of sparkling wines, both using the Charmat and Classic Method with the refermentation in bottle. By properly allowing the withering of grapes, it gives sweet wines of excellent elegance, characterized by a good structure and crispness, a fundamental characteristic for the balance in this style of wines.

 The history of Müller Thurgau is more clear as it is a crossing created at the end of 1800s, in that time in which many attempts were made in order to improve grapes by means of crossing and hybridization. In 1882 Prof. Hermann Müller - at those time working at the Geisenheim Grape Breeding Institute, Germany - was trying to combine the finesse and intensity of Riesling to the ability to ripen earlier of Sylvaner. The resulting crossing did not have the characteristics he wanted, however it quickly became successful in Germany. Prof. Müller decider to call the new crossing Müller Thurgau, by adding to his family name Thurgau (Thurgovia), the Swiss canton where he was born in. For many decades this grape was considered to be the crossing of Riesling with Sylvaner, however recent genetic researches allowed to understand Müller Thurgau is a crossing of Riesling with Madeleine Royale.


The color of
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The color of Müller Thurgau in the glass. It should be noticed its evident greenish yellow nuances.

 This variety is still today quite spread in many areas of Europe and it is also found in Australia, New Zealand and United States of America. Müller Thurgau is also cultivated in Italy, in particular in Trentino Alto Adige region where it is capable of making interesting and characteristic wines, especially in the Val di Cembra area. In Italy this variety is also cultivated in Sicily for the production of table and sparkling wines. Müller Thurgau makes wines characterized by aromas which could recall aromatic varieties, while noticing this grape does not belong to this category. This characteristic makes Müller Thurgau suited to the production of Charmat sparkling wines, capable of enhancing the aromatic profile of the grape. Wines of a light body, of immediate and pleasing crispness, it is preferred to vinify this grape in inert containers in order to favor the typical characteristics of Müller Thurgau and its aromas.

 Our comparative tasting by contrast will evaluate a Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi and a Müller Thurgau from Trentino Alto Adige, both belonging to the same vintage. We will choose two young wines, therefore of the current vintage, while making sure they have been vinified in inert containers, preferably in steel tanks. On this regard it should be noticed that if it is true Müller Thurgau is virtually vinified in steel tanks only, in certain cases Verdicchio is fermented and aged in cask, even barrique. The two wines will be served in two distinct tasting glasses at a temperature of 10 °C (50 °F). This temperature will in fact allow the best appreciation of crispness in both wines while ensuring the right perception of typical aromatic qualities of Verdicchio and Müller Thurgau.

 We will start our comparative tasting by contrast by observing the two wines in the glass. Two wines being very different in their appearance, in which can be recognized - like to say - the climate of the respective lands of production. Let's start by observing the glass of Müller Thurgau in which will be perceived a brilliant greenish yellow color and a high transparency. Nuances, observed to the edge of wine by tilting the glass and towards the opening, will show the same color. Colors characterizing Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi are more intense and bright than Müller Thurgau. The color of this famous white wine from Marches expresses an intense straw yellow color, in which can be frequently seen nuances of greenish yellow that - among the other things - is what gives the name to this grape. Let's tilt the glass and observe nuances, at the edge of the wine towards the opening. Also in this case we will see a straw yellow color with evident nuances of greenish yellow.

 The evaluation of aromas of Müller Thurgau and Verdicchio offers two olfactory profiles very different one from each other. The famous crossing of Prof. Hermann Müller, because of its characteristic aromas of fruits and, sometimes, grape, can be confused with an aromatic variety, a category to which this grape does not belong to. The aromatic exuberance of Müller Thurgau gives its wines very pleasing aromas of fruits, most of the times of immediate perception to the nose and appreciated for this reason. Verdicchio has a quite different character, with strong aromas which can sometimes be of dried fruits as well. In the famous white berried grape of Marches we in fact find sensations directly recalling white fruits, as well as flowers and a pleasing sensation of almond which is an identifying character for this variety. Verdicchio has a remarkable longevity, something allowing an interesting development of aromas while keeping its frank and sharp character.

 The first wine of which we will evaluate aromas is Müller Thurgau. By holding the glass in vertical position and, without swirling, let's proceed with the first smell in order to appreciate the opening of wine. From the glass will be perceived intense aromas of peach, apple and pineapple, as well as the characteristic hint of grape recalling, in many ways, aromatic varieties. After having swirled the glass, the wine completes its olfactory profile with flowers and fruits, in particular hawthorn and broom, as well as pear, banana, apricot, elder and sage. Let's now pass to the glass of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi. The opening of this wine offers to the nose of the taster aromas of apple, pear, hawthorn and the characteristic hint of almond. Let's now proceed with the swirling of the glass in order to favor the development of the other aromas and let's do a second smell. We will perceive aromas of plum, broom, peach, citrus fruits, chamomile, thyme and pineapple.

 Differences between the two wines becomes quite distant in the evaluation of taste. Let's take a sip of Müller Thurgau and evaluate its attack in the mouth. It will be perceived a pleasing crispness and, soon after, a sensation of pretty moderate structure, however balanced by alcohol. Correspondence to the nose is very good: it will be clearly perceived flavors of peach, pear and pineapple, sometimes supported by a touch of grape. The attack of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is characterized by a fuller body when compared to Müller Thurgau. Also in this wine the crispness of wine is a dominant quality, generally well balanced by alcohol that, in Verdicchio, it frequently is higher than 13%. The correspondence to the nose is very good and it can be clearly perceived apple, pear, plum and, the typical quality of Verdicchio, almond. Two wines, without doubt, that on this regard, are very different one from each other.

 The ending part of our tasting is about the final sensations produced by the wines after having swallowed them. The finish of Müller Thurgau expresses a good persistence, leaving in the mouth a pleasing sensation of crispness as well as flavors perceived during the attack. It will also be possible to continue perceiving the moderate structure of the wine. Also the finish of Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi is characterized by a good persistence and, also in this case, it will be perceived an evident crispness and a good body. It will also be perceived the typical flavors of this wine, as well as the characteristic quality of Verdicchio recalling the flavor of almond. The pleasing crispness of both wines make them particularly agreeable while inviting - like to say - to fill the glass again. Two wines and two grapes very different one from each other, expression of two distant characters however agreeable and of interesting sensorial value.

 






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 144, October 2015   
Contrasts of Verdicchio and Müller ThurgauContrasts of Verdicchio and Müller Thurgau Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
Issue 143, September 2015 Follow DiWineTaste on Follow DiWineTaste on TwitterIssue 145, November 2015

Wines of the Month


 

Score legend

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




Macchia Sacra 2014, Castello di Torre in Pietra (Latium, Italy)
Macchia Sacra 2014
Castello di Torre in Pietra (Latium, Italy)
Fiano
Price: € 7.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of straw yellow, very transparent.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of plum, hazelnut and honey followed by aromas of pear jam, hawthorn, ripe apple and iodine.
Crisp attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, hazelnut and honey.
2 months in cement tanks, 4 months in bottle.
Pasta with mushrooms, Roasted white meat, Roasted fish, Mushroom soups



Terre di Breccia 2011, Castello di Torre in Pietra (Latium, Italy)
Terre di Breccia 2011
Castello di Torre in Pietra (Latium, Italy)
Montepulciano, Sangiovese, Cesanese
Price: € 6.75 Score:   Good value wine

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black cherry, plum and blueberry followed by aromas of violet, raspberry, blackberry, tobacco, vanilla, carob and menthol.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of plum, black cherry and blueberry.
9 months in cask, 9 months in bottle.
Stuffed pasta with meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat, Roasted meat



Valpolicella Col de la Bastia 2014, Fattori (Veneto, Italy)
Valpolicella Col de la Bastia 2014
Fattori (Veneto, Italy)
Corvina (65%), Corvinone (15%), Rondinella (10%), Other Grapes (10%)
Price: € 8.90 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of black currant, black cherry and violet followed by aromas of blueberry, plum, vanilla, cocoa and eucalyptus.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black currant, black cherry and plum.
Aged in steel tanks and cask.
Stuffed pasta, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed meat



Il Moro 2012, Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Il Moro 2012
Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Nero d'Avola
Price: € 12.00 Score:

Intense ruby red and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing and refined, starts with hints of blackberry, plum and violet followed by aromas of black cherry, raspberry, blueberry, cinnamon, carob and vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of blackberry, plum and raspberry.
12 months in steel tanks, cask and bottle.
Broiled meat and barbecue, Sauteed meat with mushrooms, Stuffed pasta, Hard cheese



Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2012, Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Cerasuolo di Vittoria Classico 2012
Valle dell'Acate (Sicily, Italy)
Nero d'Avola (60%), Frappato (40%)
Price: € 12.50 Score:

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of ruby red, moderate transparency.
Intense, clean and pleasing, starts with hints of blackberry, plum and black cherry followed by aromas of violet, raspberry, blueberry, carob, tobacco and vanilla.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing crispness.
Persistent finish with flavors of blackberry, plum and raspberry.
12 months in cask, 9 months in bottle.
Roasted meat, Stuffed pasta with meat, Stewed meat with mushrooms



Collerosso 2010, Castello Poggiarello (Tuscany, Italy)
Collerosso 2010
Castello Poggiarello (Tuscany, Italy)
Cabernet Franc (50%), Merlot (50%)
Price: € 20.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Intense ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black currant, plum and black cherry followed by aromas of blueberry, violet, iris, vanilla, chocolate, tobacco, mace and eucalyptus.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of black currant, black cherry and plum.
Aged in barrique.
Roasted meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese



Montechiaro 2009, Castello Poggiarello (Tuscany, Italy)
Montechiaro 2009
Castello Poggiarello (Tuscany, Italy)
Cabernet Franc
Price: € 30.00 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant ruby red and nuances of garnet red, little transparency.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of black currant, black cherry and plum followed by aromas of blueberry, violet, vanilla, chocolate, tobacco, leather, pink pepper, mace and eucalyptus.
Properly tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, agreeable.
Persistent finish with flavors of black currant, black cherry and plum.
12 months in barrique.
Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Broiled meat and barbecue, Hard cheese



Trento Brut Riserva Pian Castello 2010, Endrizzi (Trentino, Italy)
Trento Brut Riserva Pian Castello 2010
Endrizzi (Trentino, Italy)
Chardonnay (60%), Pinot Nero (40%)
Price: € 16.90 Score: Wine that excels in its category

Brilliant straw yellow and nuances of greenish yellow, very transparent, fine and persistent perlage.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of apple, banana and hazelnut followed by aromas of pear, hawthorn, flint, bread crust, plum, yeast, citrus fruits, honey and hints of vanilla.
Effervescent and crisp attack, however balanced by alcohol, good body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Persistent finish with flavors of apple, banana and pear.
Refermentation in bottle and aged on its lees for about 5 years.
Pasta with fish, Broiled crustaceans, Roasted fish, Roasted white meat



Gran Masetto 2011, Endrizzi (Trentino, Italy)
Gran Masetto 2011
Endrizzi (Trentino, Italy)
Teroldego
Price: € 39.00 Score:

Deep ruby red and nuances of ruby red, impenetrable to light.
Intense, clean, pleasing, refined and elegant, starts with hints of plum, blackberry and black cherry followed by aromas of violet, blueberry, vanilla, pink pepper, tobacco, chocolate, cinnamon, mace and menthol.
Tannic attack and however balanced by alcohol, full body, intense flavors, pleasing roundness.
Very persistent finish with long flavors of plum, blackberry and black cherry.
20 months in barrique, 6 months in bottle.
Game, Roasted meat, Stewed and braised meat, Hard cheese






 Editorial  Share this article     Summary of Wine Tasting column Events 
  Wine Tasting Issue 144, October 2015   
Contrasts of Verdicchio and Müller ThurgauContrasts of Verdicchio and Müller Thurgau Wines of the MonthWines of the Month  Contents 
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