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What our expert thought of Antonelli, Grechetto dei Colli Martani




the tasting

The Tasting


Although this hasn’t seen any pre-fermentation skin contact, Grechetto’s thick skins have contributed significant colour.  It’s a medium straw, perhaps even a light gold.  Despite its youth, there's no hints of green here.  That may be due to the ripeness of the grapes: this has 14% alcohol, something which is also apparent in the prominent legs on the side of the glass after swirling.
 
It may not look green but it smells green, of fresh herbs and limes, along with hints of almonds and hawthorn blossom.  There’s a suggestion of white pepper, too.  This is a lovely, elegant nose that really opens up with air.
 
Fully dry, this starts out medium-bodied, aided by its fresh acidity, but then puts on weight in the mouth.  Subtle yet concentrated citrus and almond flavours are joined by plenty of white pepper spice and perhaps a suggestion of green peppers.  But this is mainly about texture: it’s chewy and chalky, with a stony, mouth-coating intensity.
 
That mineral quality builds into the mouthwatering, evolving finish, where gunflint and green pepper are gradually replaced by a lingering impression of slightly bitter almonds.


Assessment


Minerality is a much overused word, but this wine has it; I love its stony, leesy intensity.  Wines with lots of minerality often don’t have much else, but this one isn’t lacking in ripe fruit and has a complex and classy nose.
 
With its full body, broad flavours and relatively subtle nose, this has a lot in common with an unoaked Chardonnay.  Yet it’s also very Italian, especially with those nutty almond notes that are characteristic of many Italian whites, like Soave.
 
But the wine it most reminds me of is the Greco di Tufo that we featured in December, which had the same unoaked but full-bodied mineral power.  It’s tempting to think that the two “Greek” grapes may be related, though as far as I know there’s no evidence for that.  This one is rather more quaffable than the Greco, though.  I was in danger of not having enough left to shoot the video with!
 
This wine is young yet, and I think it will improve.  The nose was a bit closed on first opening, although not reductive, and it blossomed with some air.  If you join me in buying some of this, aim to decant the bottle an hour before drinking.  (No, I’m not usually that organised either.)  If you have left it to the last minute, just slosh it out into a jug and pour it carefully back into the bottle, and it’ll open up nicely in the glass.



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear medium straw/gold, prominent legs
Nose

Intensity medium

Aromas fresh green herbs, citrus (lime, lemon), floral (hawthorn), nuts (almond), spice (white pepper)

Development youthful
Palate

Sweetness fully dry

Acidity medium+

Body full-, starts medium but builds. Agile for 14%

Intensity medium flavour, medium+ texture

Flavours citrus, spice (white pepper), nuts (almond), mineral/lees (stones, chalk, mouthfilling), vegetal (green pepper)
Finish

Length medium++, mouthwatering, evolving

Flavours gunflint, green pepper, spicy warmth, bitter almonds
Other notes
Unoaked. Nose a bit closed (though not reductive) at first; opened up with air. Concentrated. Lots of structure and texture. Still a bit young - will improve.


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