PASSION and PATIENCE
Fattoria Serra San Martino focus on artisanal red wines with pronounced varietal character, cultivating their vineyards with biodynamic methods since 2010 (certified organic and biodynamic* since 2017) and giving the wines a long maturation time in the cellar.
The results are stunning!
Scroll down for a longer description of the passion project that is Serra San Martino and my brief tasting notes on their wines.
* For those of you who know the exquisite orange wines of Damijan Podversic of Friuli, he was an advisor to this passionate wine couple as they made the move from organic to biodynamic vineyard management.
Want the full lowdown on BIODYNAMIC practices?
Read more from certification body DEMETER here or in brief "winegrowers regard their vineyards as ecosystems, as a living organism. Instead of a monoculture, the greatest possible diversity of plants and insects is sought to create a balanced and stable environment for the vine".
ARTISANAL WINES BORN OF A LOVE AFFAIR WITH ITALY
In the heart of Le Marche, surrounded by the gentle hills of the Ancona hinterland and only 20 kilometres from the Adriatic Sea, is the small production family-owned winery of Fattoria Serra San Martino.
Husband and wife team, Thomas and Kirsten Weydemann, came to Italy from Germany and like many before them (such as influential art historian and archaeologist Winckelman and the writer-politician Goethe) they fell in love with the place and made it their home. They took their background in architecture and put their passion into restoring a deserted 150 year old farmhouse and creating artisanal wines.
The traditions and landscape of Marche have been influenced by the culture of Roman antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. This part of Marche has been a wine producing area since ancient times, helping to develop the local economy and heavily impacting the local landscape, which is dotted with sunflower fields, olive orchards and, of course, vineyards.
The Fattoria Serra San Martino winery has been a labour of love, regenerating the six hectares of land with three hectares dedicated to the vines and adding an underground cellar with the expert advice of agronomist, wine specialist and friend Dottore Agostino Pisani.
The Fattoria Serra San Martino team focus on high quality natural wines. They use the local system of growing beans in between vines, every other row, to create a natural fertilizer and even the ties around the vines come from twine crafted from local grasses.
Their wines are crafted using traditional techniques to avoid alteration of the wine composition.
Fattoria Serra San Martino wines celebrate the winemaking heritage of Marche and each vintage offers a taste of the soil and climate from that particular harvest.
One of our 'new arrivals' this year is this lovely pink blend ... a delicious combination of local Montepulciano with international varieties Merlot and Syrah!
On the nose, expect some tart red fruit notes, which are confirmed on the palate, giving the wine a lovely fresh character. This freshness is nicely balanced by a creamy finish. A fruity, easy-drinking rose - perfect for tropical afternoons!
Fun Fact: The name LA MERIGGIA means "the shade in which one rests during the midday heat" - perfect for Singapore!
For a RED blend, look no further than their easy-drinking RUZZOLA from the same blend as La Meriggia (Montepulciano, Merlot and Syrah).
Expect notes of cherry, plum, blueberry and a hint of cacao. It's lovely with tomato pasta or pizza ... and a bargain for such a high quality (and healthy/biodynamic) wine at only $35 a bottle.
ROCCUCCIO is their flagship blend, again featuring the popular trio of grapes - Montepulciano, Merlot and Syrah.
Expect a richly layered wine, with notes of both red and black fruit. The tannins are soft and already nicely integrated (open to breathe and keep swirling in your glass to see it develop).
Only 4 cases left, so don't wait too long ... grab a bottle HERE.
Looking for a varietal red?
Start with this 100% Syrah, IL PAONAZZO - a smooth, elegant and well-balanced wine, beautifully aged in the bottle.
Expect notes of sweet spice (vanilla) and flowers (violets) with ripe fruit (blueberry, blackcurrant), and a hint of pepper. Rich yet elegant - reminiscent of a warm vintage Northern Rhone.
After something more unusual?
Try the 'healthy heart' grape Sagrantino. High levels of the polyphenol Procyanidin (found in the skins and seeds of grapes) inhabit cholesterol plaque build-up in blood vessels. Yay!!
This wine is full-bodied, packed with dark fruit character and boasts a long, lingering finish.
Fun Fact: Lo Sconosciuto was named after the Italian word for 'unknown' or 'stranger' in reference to the grapes unusual presence in Marche (as it is actually native to next-door region Umbria).
Finish with ....
The flagship wine of the entire Serra San Martino collection, LYSIPP, is 100% Montepulciano.
Expect a similar character to Montepulciano d'Abruzzo (another neighbouring region) but this particular wine boasts a wonderfully restrained power. The classic notes of dark cherry and dark chocolate are there, plus blackberries, liquorice and tobacco.
After a long journey to your glass (30 months ageing in barrique, on fine lees, with a further 12 months ageing in the bottle), this is a bold wine with great structure that will benefit from decanting, yet its charm is in its supple, elegant mouthfeel.
Grab a bottle ... or a case ... HERE.
If you need helping deciding where to start, please do contact me for personal recommendations and advice.