Sergio Mottura, “Latour a Civitella” grechetto 2015 (about $32)

Italian Wine for june, 2021

This wine is made entirely of Grechetto, a white Italian grape variety that is cultivated throughout central Italy, especially in the Umbria and Lazio regions. The variety is thought to have originated in Greece but it has been grown in Italy for so long that it's considered a native Italian variety.

The Grechetto variety generally doesn’t receive a lot of attention in the popular wine press because it historically has been used primarily as a blending wine added in varying proportions to other more popular white varieties such as Trebbiano and Chardonnay (see, for example, Antinori’s 2015 Cervaro della Sala).

So, it’s unusual to see a pure Grechetto wine – unusual certainly but not unheard of. The variety has been gaining increased attention in recent years as winemakers find that if they’re willing to pay due attention to the Grechetto variety and use some modern winemaking techniques including experimenting with oak ageing, the variety is capable of producing well-rounded, velvety and engaging food-friendly wines.

Sergio Mottura is the maestro of this informal, loosely-knit movement to create a better Grechetto wine. His winery, Cantina Sergio Mottura, is located in Civitella d’Agliano, a commune in the Lazio region located about 70 miles northwest of Rome not far from the Umbria border. This 90-acre vineyard winery produces a small variety of white, red and rosato wines.

But Sergio's passion is the Grechetto variety and he is 2015 "Latour a Civitella" Grechetto is produced by Sergio Mottura in the Lazio region.meticulous in this regard. He has painstakingly analyzed the composition of the soil in his various vineyards as well as the genetic properties of various vines so as to identify not only the premier vineyards but also the best parcels within the vineyards conducive for producing high-quality Grechetto. Today, he produces 3 pure Grechetto wines (Latour a Civitella, Poggio della Costa and Muffo, a dessert-style wine) which is probably a record for any winery.

The 2015 Latour a Civitella is produced from hand-selected Grechetto grapes harvested from 5 separate vineyard parcels. The grapes are soft-pressed and fermented in French oak barriques. When fermentation is complete the wine remains in casks for 9 additional months and spends 6 months in the bottle prior to release for sale.

The wine has a sun-kissed golden color with elegant and complex pear, ripe apricot and floral aromas. This full-bodied white is rich in an opulent style with layers of white fruit and citrus flavors providing a nicely-textured mouthfeel. There are some delicate, well-managed wood spices and the 14 percent alcohol provides plenty of grip for the long, persistent finish.

Sergio Mottura has crafted a wine that stands out for its ripe fruit aromas and flavors and its richly-constituted texture. A job well done. My congratulations to the maestro of Grechetto.

©Richard Marcis
June 2, 2021

To see reviews of other selected wines of the month, see Wines of the Month.

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