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2018 Andrea Felici Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore, Marche, Italy (750ml)

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The winery of Andrea Felici is located in the Marche region, between Apiro and Cupramontana, the heart of the homeland of Verdicchio. Nestled on a hill at the foot of Mount San Vicino at an altitude of 1690 feet above sea level, Azienda Andrea Felici includes a wonderful landscape; a green valley with tilted slopes blanketed by beautiful woods and vines, and bordered by the high peaks of Gran Sasso and Maiella to the south and Mount Catria to the north. The climate is dry, with average annual temperatures in the mid-50s and a constant breeze throughout the year. This is the southwest corner of the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi appellation. The area is further inland, with more limestone, a bit less influence from the Adriatic Sea, and temperature swings between day and night that are more pronounced.

Combine a transcendent (if under-appreciated) varietal, a "goldilocks" estate location, an uncompromising winemaker with a palate trained on the greatest wines of the world, and that is how Andrea Felici has become one of the hottest producers of Italy.

The winery started estate-bottling in 2003. Today, the 15-hectare estate is run by Leopardo Felici, whose passion for and dedication to Verdicchio are immediately obvious, as is his broad knowledge of the wine world. Before taking over the estate in 2007, his father insisted he gain more wine experience, so Leo worked as sommelier in London at Gordon Ramsey's Savoy and in Florence at Enoteca Pinchiorri. The winery produces only two wines: a single-vineyard bottling—Il Cantico della Figura—and this cuvée: Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore.

This winery practices organic viticulture with certification. Coming from the high elevation site in Apiro, the Classico Superiore is a mix of old and younger vines. The grapes were harvested by hand and given a short cold-soak on the skins before pressing. The juice was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks, matured and mellowed on the lees for three months, and then aged an additional two months in-bottle prior to release.

Pale yellow hue. Fine aromatics of green apple skin and grapefruit pith. The palate exhibits beautiful purity of fruit and pronounced minerality, with lemon flesh, Kaffir lime and a touch of bitter almond. The finish is long, focused and positively mouthwatering

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