The Rolls-Royce of Italian Verdicchio. Hailing from an old, single 'Cru' vineyard that boasts 50+-year-old vines, this is an enticing expression that pulls you in from the first glass. The exceptional texture and hints of creaminess showcase 3 years of ageing before release, and perfectly complement a complex palate of apricots and citrus, smokey lapsang tea and toasted hazelnuts on the finish.
A pungently floral and mineral-laced bouquet of musky peach and pear, spice, yellow flowers and crushed stone lifts up from the 2018 Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Riserva Vigna II Cantico della Figura. It's round and silky in feel, with ripe orchard fruits contrasted by hints of sour lime and a salty savoriness that comes forward toward the close. This tapers off long and tense, leaving nuances of raw almond and custards to linger. There's already so much going on here; but don't be afraid of losing a few bottles in the cellar, as the 2018 can easily excel through medium-term cellaring.
Current winemaker Leo Felici is hot property in Italy right now. In 2020, he won the coveted award for 'Italy's Best Winemaker' by the Gambero Rosso Guide, and from there his star power has only continued to soar.
Based in Marche, Leo crafts his family wines in the rolling hills of Apiro which sit at 516m above sea level. The cooling influence of this altitude, tempers the beautiful Italian sunshine and makes from fantastic expressions of Verdicchio: the grape that defines the white wines of this area. He works organically, though without certifications, and takes a thoughtful approach to his winemaking that sees minimal intervention and a focus on allowing the unique, local terroir to shine.
Don't just take our word for it though. Antonio Galloni of Vinous.com proclaims that:
'Leopardo Felici has a great hand with the Verdicchio grape, producing two of the Marche’s best white wines. Clearly, the vineyard location in the cool-climate, hilly area between Apiro and Cupramontana is a big help, as the wines have high natural acidity, a strong mineral overlay and wonderful clarity. But strong viticultural and winemaking skills also play a role. Felici is one of the few producers of “vino biologico” in Italy talented enough to avoid making wines with off-putting aromas, and his decision not to use oak (only stainless steel and cement vats are used) also contributes to the precision of the wines. Andrea Felici is a name to watch in Italian wine circles.'