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Lacrima di Morro d'Alba

The Lacrima is a red grape variety that used to be widespread throughout central-southern Italy and is now mainly present in the province of Ancona, where it gives rise to the denomination of Lacrima di Morro d'Alba: a red wine with an intense floral bouquet of roses and violets, medium-bodied and moderately tannic, dry and with pleasant aromatic overtones. The origin of its name is as simple as it is evocative: after ripening, the thick skin of the grape breaks, allowing droplets of juice to ooze out, similar to a tear, or 'lacrima' in Italian. Rescued from extinction during the 1980s, this variety has been enhanced thanks to the work of a few good producers from the Marche region who have understood its potential, allowing it to reveal its unmistakable aromatic expressiveness at its best.

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The Lacrima is a red grape variety that used to be widespread throughout central-southern Italy and is now mainly present in the province of Ancona, where it gives rise to the denomination of Lacrima di Morro d'Alba: a red wine with an intense floral bouquet of roses and violets, medium-bodied and moderately tannic, dry and with pleasant aromatic overtones. The origin of its name is as simple as it is evocative: after ripening, the thick skin of the grape breaks, allowing droplets of juice to ooze out, similar to a tear, or 'lacrima' in Italian. Rescued from extinction during the 1980s, this variety has been enhanced thanks to the work of a few good producers from the Marche region who have understood its potential, allowing it to reveal its unmistakable aromatic expressiveness at its best.

The Legend of a Unique Aromatic Grape

This ancient grape variety of the Italian peninsula was probably widespread in ancient times in the regions of Apulia, Campania, Umbria and the Marche, and was mainly appreciated as a meal grape because of its pleasant aromaticity. Today its presence seems to have been reduced to a few kilometres in the province of Ancona, where it provides one of the most typical and characteristic wines of the Marche region.

According to recent ampelographic studies, the Lacrima Morro d'Alba grape descends from the Aleatico variety, with which it shares a close relationship, while it has nothing to do with other varieties of the same name scattered throughout southern Italy. The characteristics of the variety include a pyramidal bunch structure with scattered berries, a thick, hard, dark-blue skin, an abundant presence of bloom and minimal tannins.

The first historical evidence of this variety dates back to 1167, when Frederick Barbarossa, while engaged in a long siege of the city of Ancona, chose the town of Morro d'Alba as his home, where, according to legend, he enjoyed the grape juice produced there. Originally, this wine speciality was only produced within the city walls, whereas today the production regulations, established in 1985, have extended this possibility to parts of the municipalities of Belvedere Ostrense, Monte San Vito, Ostra, San Marcello and Senigallia. In recent years, a number of producers in these areas have invested a great deal in promoting the vine and the wine products resulting from it, making themselves known throughout Italy. Garofoli, Umani Ronchi, Tenuta di Tavignano and Velenosi, with its famous Lacrima di Morro d'Alba Velenosi, are among them.



The Aromatic Spectrum of Lacrima di Morro d'Alba

This variety is particularly appreciated among Italian red wines for its exceptionally captivating and seductive, graceful and floral aromatic profile. It has an intense ruby red colour with excellent consistency and violet shades, but its main strength is its aroma. Cherries, small strawberries, violets and rose petals, as well as blackberries, delicate berries and, after years of ageing, even sour cherries in alcohol are the stars of the bouquet on offer. On the palate it is soft, pleasant, graceful, not very tannic and with a good floral persistence.

The flavour of Lacrima di Morro d'Alba Superiore is normally slightly more intense and evolved, but always preserves that feminine, delicate and floral grace typical of the type. The passito version, on the other hand, is characterised by a higher residual sugar, which makes it sweet.



Special Features and Regional Pairings

Tasting a fine expression of this type is priceless, because of its exuberant and delicate aromatic energy. This is why it can also be tasted on its own, as an aperitif or outside meals, for a refreshing and sensual moment of pleasure. The local tradition proposes a number of dishes that perfectly complement this red wine, from typical cured meats, such as ciauscolo or Fabriano larded salami, to first courses based on white meat sauce.

Lacrima di Morro d'Alba is best paired with dishes that are lightly spiced, but not overly intense. White meats and poultry are also recommended, possibly seasoned with tomato and various spices. The typical crescia of the Marche region is also excellent with cold cuts and fresh cheeses. With light and very fresh versions, tasty fish dishes such as grilled and fried fish can also be served, but especially the rich brodetto fanese or the typical Ancona fish soup, with fish from the Adriatic, tomatoes, onions and croutons.

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