This wine is a great example of why I love Italy. No matter how bored you may get with wine, the Italians always have something to get you excited again. Some unknown region where they grow some obscure grape that you've never heard of. Some strangely amazing bottle that will make you remember why you started drinking wine in the first place. Lacrima di Morro D'Alba is one of these wines. It comes from the region of Marche, a lesser known area in central Italy. It's best known for its white wines, most notably Verdicchio, but there are also a few decent reds produced in the region, Rosso Piceno, Rosso Conero and our own lovely, Lacrima.
The Lacrima grape is so ancient that people really have no idea where it came from. What is known is that people have been growing it in Marche for centuries. The name, Lacrima, means “tear,” which may be due to the teardrop shape of the grapes themselves. No one really knows, and frankly who cares? With Lacrima, its all about what's in the glass. And in this glass you will find a red wine with aromatics akin to walking through a lush garden of lavender, violets and roses. The most famous descriptor used for Lacrima is blueberry pie. Yes, that's right, blueberry pie. This is how this wine was described to me when I first learned about it, years ago. Not everyone may smell this exactly, but you can't argue about the compelling aromas of blueberries. But to me they are more sweet, cooked blueberries with a sugary, cinnamon-y spiciness to them. Hence, blueberry pie.
Luigi Giusti's 2007 Lacrima di Morro d'Alba is spot on. This wine is %100 Lacrima, though the DOC allows up to %15 Montelpulciano. The nose is perfect- fresh baked blueberry pie, perfumey floral notes of lavender and violets, along with something sweet and exotic and truly indescribable. The palate is a surprise. You expect to taste all of these sweet aromas, but instead you get a super dry wine, with darker flavors of earth, plums, smoke and wood. The finish is long with a touch of tannin. There is nice acidity as well, making it a great pair for cheeses and other fatty foods like pork, or cured meats. Check out this link for some pretty awesome recipe ideas.
Lacrima is one of the reasons I love Italy. It's a place where wines like this are allowed to exist and flourish. Where they are protected and appreciated. This is a truly fascinating wine with a mind blowingly fragrant nose of blueberries and ambrosia followed by a dark and smokey, earthy palate. And then there's Stevie Nicks. A beautiful, gypsy goddess in flowing skirts who evokes flowers and exotic scents and everything that is the feminine mysique. Yet her voice is dark and smoky, her songs strong and somewhat dark. Seems to me like a perfect pairing, Lacrima di Morro and Bella Donna.