Thank goodness for Italian wine geeks like Brittany Carlisi.  She found an awesome older bottle of Fattoria San Lorenzo’s eponymous “Il San Lorenzo” from 1997 in her company’s inventory, and decided it was time to dust that bottle off and start selling it.  The world needs more aged Verdicchio, right?

This is my favorite kind of wine: weird, old, and totally unique.



We tasted this wine at Los Angeles’ Terroni, quite possibly my favorite lunch spot in the city.  Mostly because I love Max Stefanelli, one of the owners.  He manages to be cheerful and welcoming even after his 18 hour days, smiling while opening a second restaurant, and perfectly content while madly juggling family/ restaurant life with his wife Francesca.  And he loves wine.

I also love Terroni for one dish specifically:  the Spaghetti Ca’ Muddica.  A perfect combination of tomatoes, olives, capers and a sprinkle of bottarga-laced breadcrumbs.  This is all you need.  Especially with verdicchio.

The wine is super natural.  Crunchy-granola-tree-hugging-type natural.  No wood.  No filtering.  No fining.  9 years in cement vats on the lees.  Then ten more in the bottle before release.  Basically, what comes off the wines goes into the bottle.  And that’s it.

The “Il San Lorenzo” is only made in the best vintages, from 100% Verdicchio grapes (Castelli di Jesi).  It is a pure expression of Verdicchio, and an optimal example of just how serious this grape can be.  White wines that age, and barely oxidize, just fascinate me.  It’s like drinking out of a time machine.

The wine is still electric with acidity, barely golden yellow, super heavy on the palate, with a velveteen texture.  The back label of the bottle advises you to open the wine an hour before service, and I totally agree.  Initial butterscotch aromatics gave way eventually to all the intriguing secondary notes:  preserved citrus, sage, forest floor.

A beautiful wine, perfectly matched by a simple plate of pasta.