2015 Villa Bucci Riserva
Here it is, one of Italy’s top white wines and one of our absolutely favorites – when we can get it – the Villa Bucci Riserva. For those who love great white wine, Italian or otherwise, here is a bottle you just don’t want to miss. Although it is the 2015 vintage it was just released and hasn’t been rated. Here is more information regarding this wine, from Vinous:
“The Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Villa Bucci Riserva is one of Italy’s top white wines, and also ages splendidly. It’s also a bottling of significant historic importance – the first to reveal the huge potential of the Verdicchio grape and its wines to Italy and the world.
“Ampelio Bucci worked for more than 20 years in Milan’s highly competitive and glitzy fashion industry as a consultant in design direction and marketing. Until two years ago, he also taught this subject at the Domus Academy in Milan and at one of the city’s universities, the Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione (IULM). As if all that wasn’t enough for his resumé, Bucci also happens to make two of Italy’s best white wines, including the Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Villa Bucci Riserva.
“Ampelio Bucci made his first Verdicchio “classico” wine in 1982, and his first Verdicchio Riserva in 1983, although it couldn’t be labeled as Riserva at that time. Verdicchio Riserva wines gained official status in 1995, and today the designation is officially known as Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva, as Italian officials struggle to get the public at large to refer to the area of production rather than the grape variety.
“Bucci does not make his Riserva wine every year, preferring to declassify it in weather-challenged growing seasons into his Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico. To date, the Riserva has not been made in 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1996, 2002 and 2011. Largely as a result of his high standards for making the wine, Bucci has had an almost uninterrupted run of great wines from 1992 to 2008. Off the top of my head, I can think of very few other Italian wine estates that can boast a similar string of memorable wines over such an extended period of time.
“All of the Bucci vineyards are planted on mostly clay-and-calcaire soils (with at least 30% clay content) and each is vinified separately. Over the years, Bucci has tinkered with how he makes the wines, but for the most part vinification for the Villa Bucci has always been extremely traditional and has not changed much since the beginning. Still, Bucci told me that he was surprised how much of a difference yield reduction and a move to organic farming proved to be in the late 1990s, turning what had been a very good wine into a downright outstanding one. The Riserva is vinified in stainless steel tanks and is then aged for 14 or 15 months in 50- and 75-hectoliter Slavonian oak casks (in the beginning, it spent as long as 24 months in cask). Skin contact is avoided altogether today. In the past, Bucci experimented briefly with different maceration times, but found that the wine always became too heavy – “and vulgar.” Every time Bucci pronounces that last word, it always brings a smile to my face, as it is very clear from his expression that there could be no worse insult in the world for him. No surprise. After all, he’s a fashion guy.”