Posted by: tomciocco | June 19, 2010

LACRIMA DI MORRO D’ALBA – TEARS OF JOY

The fact that wines like this are not available to all those who might enjoy them is a crying shame. I say “might” because some folks will not dig this wine one bit, but every wine drinker looking to travel closer to the edges of the reserve should sip at least one full glass of this singular drink, take it from Uncle Tommy…

This wine springs from the soils of the Marche region of Italy, province of Ancona, and most precisely,  the little town of Morro d’Alba. Just in this place, and in a few surrounding hamlets, grows one of Italy’s, and indeed the world’s most distinctive grapes: Lacrima (di Morro d’Alba).  Those with some familiarity with Latin-rooted languages might understand “Lacrima” as “tear”, and they’d be right. The deeply colored variety is so named because its very thin skins, that upon reaching full ripening, often split, and spill their stained fructose “tears”.  A pity for the grower who has to learn how to get his fruit in preferably just before the bawling starts, but those who do manage it give the drinker a rare pleasure.

This is a “love it or hate it” sort of wine. It’s oddly and exotically scented, and though supremely round and mouth-filling, it’s only a medium-light bodied beverage. Some might call the wine “feminine” others might dub it  a bit tartish or even  drag queeny… I paired this plush, dark wine with fish. Fish, huh? Yup. Though this might seem a bit off, when the fish is a deeply flavored one like Spanish Mackerel (which I marinated in wine, garlic, and mint and then grilled), a wine that is as deeply enveloping and yet sassy and zippy as this one becomes a perfect foil. The first course was half a bag of pennoni lisci that I boiled up and dressed simply with a sauce of chopped mixed mushrooms, garlic, a few spoons of tomato, basil, and ricotta. Round, aromatic reds pair beautifully with fungi, and so this one did as well…

Lacrima di Morro d’Alba is not easy to find. And “X” number of you that do turn up a bottle, will, face running with tears, quickly lose it again. I think that the rest of you however will be very sad to see the last drip of it drop into your glass. 

LUCCHETTI LACRIMA DI MORRO D’ALBA 2008 

Vibrant, youthful deep purple color with a crimson rim. Effusive aromas of lilies, roses, blueberry, myrtle, and aromatic spices. The entry is very soft, broad, and round followed by a pop of  fresh, juicy, acidity. Despite the expansive entry, the wine stays just on the lighter side of medium bodied, framing crunchy berry fruit flavors, prune juice, and  fine bittersweet chocolate. It finishes with a marked palate-scrubbing black pepper finish.

TOM CIOCCO

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Responses

  1. We found a couple of bottles of this in a touristy pizza takeaway on the Via del Corso in Rome this weekend. Wife loved it so much we had to go back the next day for more. Am now trying to track this down in the UK


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