WEEK TWENTY-THREE WINE: Only 5,000 precious bottles produced

Barbarossa, Lacrima di Morro D'Alba, Tenuta di Tavignano, 2018, Le Marche

If ever a wine was a beacon of joy, it’s wine made from the rare Lacrima di Morro d’Alba grape from the region of Le Marche, near central Italy’s Adriatic coast. The wine’s perfume of lavender, roses, and wild berries is pure ambrosia. It’s bright, juicy, fresh flavors are heavenly pleasure.

A specialty of the hills around the town of Morro d’Alba, the Lacrima grape — named for the teardrop-like shape of its berries — was all but extinct when a handful of estates in Le Marche recovered and revived it. Among them was the Tenuta di Tavignano and its owners Stefano Aymerich and wife Beatrice Lucangeli. The estate has since passed from Stefano and Beatrice to their niece, Ondine de la Feld, the dynamic winemaker and manager of this boutique winery.

Tenuta di Tavignano is in the area of Cingoli (province of Macerata) in the Marche region.  These  beautiful vineyards are known as the Balcony of the Marches, a terrace looking onto a storybook landscape, an ancient passage from the Apennine Mountains to the Adriatic Sea.

All of the grapes Ondine grows — including the Lacrima di Morro d’Alba — are indiginous to the region. They enjoy a temperate hillside microclimate, with cool sea breezes and dry mountain air. And Ondine cultivates all of her vineyards organically.

She makes only 5,000 bottles of the Lacrima every year . Her Lacrima is named “Barbarossa” in reference  to Federico Barbarossa the holy Roman emperor who allegedly became fond of the wine in the 12th century.

Compared to any other red wine, Ondine’s Lacrima di Morro d’Alba feels like experiencing technicolor for the very first time. It’s all dazzling flowers, fleshy fruits, and succulent nectars. And if you’re like me, you’ll say it has a mystical quality you haven’t tasted in any wine. 

Serve it lightly chilled on any summer day, with any appetizer or entrée, from simple fare to delicacy. Ondine’s luminous red will refresh and revive you, your guests, and everything around it.