Grechetto from Umbria: Arnaldo Caprai and Scacciadiavoli

ART Grechetto GrapeGrechetto is an indigenous grape of Greek origin that is widely planted in Umbria and is most famous for the white wines it produces in the Orvieto DOC.  Unlike Orvieto, it can be made as a single varietal in the Colli Martani DOC .  It can also be produced as a single varietal when labeled as Umbria IGT.  When produced in Orvieto, it can be no more than 45% of the blend.

While preparing our recent Special Report: The Wines of Montefalco in Umbria, we also tasted three single varietal Grechettos—two made with fruit grown in the commune of Montefalco in Italy’s Umbria region.

The Grechetto grape has thick skins, which makes it resistant to Downey Mildew and permits extended hang times.  The vine is naturally low-yielding.  Grechetto does not make a fruity wine, although it can produce concentrated flavors. It often has aromas and flavors of herbs, minerals, and almonds.  It pairs well with seafood, but it is an especially welcome partner for vegetable dishes, including such hard to pair items as artichokes and asparagus.

ART Grechetto Grecante labelArnaldo Caprai 2012 Grecante Grechetto Colli Martani DOC ($19) 90+ The 2012 vintage is a beautiful wine. It shows chalky minerals and citrus fruit.  Most importantly, the wine has impeccable balance and a firm weight and energetic intensity.  Made from 100% Grechetto grapes grown on the estate in Montefalco.  Arnaldo Caprai 2010 Grecante Grechetto Colli Martani DOC ($19) 89 Revealing light herbal and citrus zest notes on the nose, the 2010 Grecante Grechetto has a chalky palate of minerals and notes of green tea and grapefruit pith with a hint of residual sweetness on the finish. An excellent wine for seafood.   Importer:  Folio Fine Wine Partners, Napa CA

MONTEFALCO Scaccia LogoScacciadiavoli 2011 Grechetto dell’Umbria IGT ($15) 88  Crisp and clean, revealing minerals and citrus notes on the nose, this Grechetto is a good food wine. Dried herbs, almonds and a hint of earth show on an otherwise neutrally-flavored palate, with good density and a chalky mineral-like finish.  Made from the estate vineyards located in Montefalco. Scacciadiavoli has just 3 ha of Grechetto.  Importer: Selected Estates of Europe, Mamaronek NY

Mike Potashnik and Don Winkler

January 2014

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