Lacrima di Morro / Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC: This is an appellation for only red wines in the region of Marche.Red Grape Varieties: Lacrima; Rosso (Rd): Minimum 85% Lacrima + OANRG; Superiore (Rosso); Passito (RdSw): Minimum 85% Lacrima + OANRG. The Minimum alcohol levelis 11.0% for Rosso; 12.0% for Superiore; 13.0% for Passito (15.0% potential)
Quality Scale: Lacrima di Morro D’Alba DOC
The DOC region was established in 1985. There is approximately 140 hectares under vine and production averages about 140,000 cases per year.
Wine Styles: Red, Red Superiore and Passito wine styles are produced.
Rosso – the wines are varietal with a minimum of 85% Lacrima grape.
Rosso Superiore – follow the same percentages but require a minimum of 12% alcohol vs 11.5% for the base Rosso style
Passito wines are sweet and the Lacrima grapes must be dried on or off eat vine until a minimum of 210 g/l of sugar is achieved. The grapes can then be pressed between November and March following the harvest.
Aging requirements are minimal and range from 1-2 months (Rosso) to 10-11 months for Superiore and approximately 12 months for Passito styles.
Lacrima is derived from an unusual occurrence in the vineyard. The Lacrima grapes have a thin skin and can often exude small drops of juice at full ripeness. This acts as if the grapes are “crying” and the name Lacrima – teardrops in english – was given for to the varietal. Lacrima can be confused with a different wine of the Campania region, named Lacryma Christi but they are unrelated and that wine is produced primarily with Piedirosso grapes. Lacryma di Morro d’Alba is related, as confirmed with DNA studies to the Aleatico grape. The DOC is located near the village of Morro D’Alba and is situated on the coastal hills about 25 km from the Adriatic Sea. The soils are mostly clay.
This thin skinned grape breaks easily and can be vulnerable to disease and pests. The vines also have a short life span and require replacement every 20 years or so. They do well on American root stock and the life span is increasing slightly with technology.
With all the effort to produce healthy grapes and replant the vineyards, the grape varietal almost was lost to extinction in the 1980s but the cultivation of Lacrima has recovered with steady growth and expansion. It is again a source of dry and sweet wines in the Marche region. The recovery of lacrima also led to the establishment of the Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC in 1985 and a move to higher quality. Red, superiore and passito (sweet wines) are produced at varietal blends (greater than 85% Lacrima) with potential blending partners of Sangiovese, Montepulciano and Verdicchio Bianco.
The wines are highly aromatic and very perfumed. They maintain their acidity well and both dry and sweet versions balance that acidity with deep, concentrated flavors of strawberry, forest fruit, dark red fruits and earth. The tannins are typically refined and they mature quickly in the bottle. They have a dark color and the floral notes include lavender, rose and baking spices. Oak is rarely used but more experimentation is occurring.
Locally, the wines are consumed with food and as an aperitif with local salami.
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In the meantime, if you are in the mood for a good book, you can try:
– The Modern History of Italian Wine by Walter Filipputti
– Hidden Gems of Italy: An Insider’s Secret Formula To Find Top-Class Italian Wines At Value Prices And Taste La Dolce Vita by Tony Margiotta
Additionally, you can discover the other wines from Marche.