### 'MAI SENTITO'
'Mai sentito’ means ‘unheard of,’ and this sparkling Verdicchio, bottled before the second fermentation is finished, is certainly the first of its type I’ve had. It’s not some random hipster experiment, though, it’s an intentional, thoughtful, delicious bottle of wine. The Verdicchio variety supplies the green apple and herbal notes you’d expect, along with lovely fresh acidity; the maceration of the yeast in the wine as the fermentation finishes adds texture and background notes. Excellent aperitif, would pair perfectly with all manner of antipasti. Nice job, Riccardo.
## ABOUT LA STAFFA:
I love Verdicchio, and the bright, distinctive, intense Verdicchio di Matelica from Colle Stefano has been a staple of our selection for more than ten years. To my taste, much Verdicchio from the neighboring Castelli di Jesi appellation is mealy by comparison. But just to see if there were exceptions, I tasted through a slew of Jesi bottlings at Vinitaly, and the wine from an estate called La Staffa stuck out: it was vibrant, direct, very flavorful, complex and delicious.
La Staffa's young owner and enologist Riccardo Baldi was sharing a booth not far away, and I tasted through his whole line of wines, impressed by them and by his youthful enthusiasm (Riccardo is 24 and has already made 4 vintages). A week later, a visit to the vineyards and winery in the beautiful rolling hills outside the little town of Staffolo was equally impressive. (The Marche is one of Italy's most beautiful region, and the wine and food culture of the area should be better known.)
Ian d'Agata, in his wonderful new book about Italian grapes\*, says that Verdicchio is 'arguably Italy's greatest native white grape variety;' I don't know if I'd go quite that far, but I love the grape and have drunk a lot over the years. The combination of aromas and flavors (apple, citrus, almond, herbs) is different, the weight in the mouth is different, but both wines are excellent examples of a fine Italian native variety.
\* Native Wine Grapes of Italy, published by UC Press