Umbria is the Landlocked region in central Italy, often called “the green heart of Italy.”
Here, near the Tuscan border to the region in the northwest, you find Italy’s 4th Largest Lake, Lago Trasimeno.
You find the Colli del Trasimeno DOC in these hills near Lake Trasimeno. Water of any kind near vineyards moderates temperature, and this region has mild winters and warm summers with lake breezes.
Madrevite in the Umbrian Hills near Lake Trasimeno
We received a variety of wines from Madrevite, a winery tucked into this region. Nicola Chiucchiurlotto’s grandfather planted vineyards here beginning in 1978. His grandfather called his vineyard “Francese.”
These wines were received as media samples, no other compensation was received, and all opinions are our own.
In 2003, Nicola began restoring the family farm, replanting some vineyards. Today, they have a total of 60 hectares, 15 of which are under vine. The remaining are planted to olives, beans, and grains.
The property is on a hill, and biodiversity is essential for the land and soil and to maintain the culture of life here.
We tasted 5 wines with Nicola. He gave us bits of the story behind the wine and the grape varieties as we tasted. I love the labels and packaging here, the fonts, which are slightly crooked, not taking themselves too seriously, and the vivid colors chosen for each variety.
“A Madrevite is an ancient tool the Umbria wine producers of the past used in the wine cellars to fasten the spigot to the barrels of full wine. It symbolizes the bond between the past and the traditions which, together with modern agronomic and wine cellar practices, is the true essence of our wine production.” From the Madrevite website https://www.madrevite.it/?lang=en
The logo for Madrevite is lovely; a technical sketch of a “madrevite” in a subtle grey on the label pulls you in. Interestingly, when I went to the site and it auto-translated the page, it translated “madrevite” to “lead screw.”
Madrevite ‘elvé 2022 Trasimeno DOC Grechetto
The name here translates in the Umbrian dialect to “Oops! She’s there, or he’s there. They have finally arrived.” The bottle’s back label indicates that this wine should be enjoyed in its entirety with friends.
The wine is Grechetto, a white variety that is native to Umbria. Pale lemon in color, this wine smelled of lemon, pith, white flowers, and dried herbs. It was tart in my mouth with notes of green apple. 12.5% abv
Madrevite Il Reminore 2022
Umbria IGT Trebbiano Spoletino
The name translates to “D minor”. Nicola on the label speaks to the chord of earth, work, and passion that rearranged the Trebbiano Spoletino to be played in a more contemporary way.
This is like no other Trebbiano I have ever tasted. Deeper in color than the Grechetto, this wine smelled of lemon, lemon peel, crushed stone, and green herbs. In my mouth, there were definite mineral notes as well as crisp green pear and citrus notes, including a warm Meyer lemon note. It is wider and rounder on my palate than the Grechetto. This wine is warmer and more fall in tone than the first. 13% abv
Madrevite ‘elvé 2022 Trasimeno DOC Grechetto
Madrevite “il Reminore” 2022 Umbria IGT Trebbiano Spolentino
We enjoyed both of these wines together with a dish vaguely inspired by the region. Umbria is primarily a meat-eating region, being inland from the sea. But here on Lake Trasimeno, there are fishermen. The style of cooking fish here is just like they would cook pork, often grilled on a spit as you would with a pig.
While I could not locate lake fish (they have pike, carp, and eel), I picked up some Mahi Mahi and cooked it in bacon fat, adding a crumble of toasted panko. We had garlic-blistered green beans and crispy potato stacks with pecorino cheese. The potatoes went wonderfully, with the toasted cheese bringing out different notes with each wine. The beans went best with the ‘elvé, the green notes working well with that wine, and the fish paired beautifully with the il Reminore, the weight of the dish pairing with the weight of the wine.
Madrevite La Bisbetica Rosé IGT Umbria 2022
The name for this wine comes from Shakespeare, “the Shrew.” As in “The Taming of the Shrew.” The play was being performed nearby the first time they produced this wine.
This wine is made of Gamay del Trasimeno.
Here, we must pause and explain. This is not Gamay. It is Grenache. The story, as told by Nicola, was that this grape was likely brought by the House of Aragon from Spain, which dominated this part of Italy for three centuries. There was confusion over this grape, and it was misidentified as Gamay. It was much more recently that genetic research determined that it was indeed Grenache (or should I say Garnacha).
You can find a complete explanation here https://gamaydeltrasimeno.com/en/trasimeno-gamay-who-i-am/
Back to the Rosé!
Nicola makes this wine from Gamay del Trasimeno, harvested from a part of the vineyard where he can harvest it early. He does this rather than dropping green fruit, allowing him more financial sustainability.
This tart rosé has savory and saline notes, which Nicola attributes to the calcareous soils. He also finds his terroir influenced by the wind. He quoted the Bob Dillon song “the answer is blowing in the wind” when discussing this wine with us.
Madrevite La Bisbetica Rosé IGT Umbria 2022
We paired this wine with a lunch of roasted tomato soup topped with goat cheese and dried thyme and Grilled naan sandwiches with goat cheese, pecorino, and apple butter. This was a lunch pairing following the annular solar eclipse, and the dishes’ richness and the wine’s tartness were perfect to bring us gently back to a sense of order after the odd darkening of the skies during the eclipse.
The wine was light copper in color with notes of raspberry, mineral, and dried thyme on the nose. There were notes of tart stone fruit, like unripe white peach.
Paired with the food, the wine was softened by the creamy goat cheese and contrasted with the sweetness of the apple butter.
This wine is high in acid and sizzles and sparkles across my tongue with a perhaps imagined effervescence.
Madrevite Opra Trasimeno 2022 Gamay Del Trasimeno DOC
In the Umbrian dialect, “Opra” means to go to work, but with a light mood. When they said this, I immediately heard the Snow White Dwarves in my head. This is appropriate for this wine, which is a spicy, lighthearted, fruit-forward wine.
Nicola was aiming for a style similar to a Pinot Noir from Bourgogne. The fruit is fresh, and the wine has a brightness with fine light tannins. This is a red wine that would be lovely with vegan dishes.
We enjoyed this with pasta with a slightly spicy meat sauce. The bright fruit tempered the spice in the sauce nicely. This is a joyful wine that goes down quickly.
Madrevite “Cosa” 2020 Gamay del Trasimeno Riserva
“Cosa” translates to “who is daring?” Nicola’s dream is to produce a wine for the people. He dreams of a “World without the key in our door,” a world that is integrated. The label was inspired by the work of the artist Jean-Michel Basquiat of NY.
This Riserva wine is the last 20% of the fruit they harvest, and it comes in 2 weeks later than the regular fruit, allowing extra hang time. It is 50% whole cluster for a more carbonic style and then aged 1 year in large oak cask and concrete tank.
Deep in color with pronounced notes of dried herb, licorice, spice, black plum, currants, cranberry, and dried red berry notes. On the palate, there are again the notes of saline. The fruit here expresses more tartness than the Opra, and the tannins are heavier.
Cosa had a depth and darkness with smooth tannins and an overall smooth mouthfeel.
This wine was delicious, and Michael and I both wanted a bit of time to contemplate the wine, so rather than create a dish to pair, we enjoyed it with a cheese and charcuterie board with fresh plum, candied pecans, a variety of cheeses, dried fruits, and cured meats. I did make some meatballs with mozzarella, which made for a nice warm accompaniment.
During our virtual tasting with Nicola, he ended by heading out to the vineyard and sharing the sunset over Lake Trasimeno with us.
For more information on Madrevite, visit their website at https://www.madrevite.it/?lang=en
You can also find more on the wines of Umbria, here on Crushed Grape Chronicles
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.
Check out our book series, “Tempting Spoonfuls” available through Amazon!
Inspired by the flavors and aromas in wines, these books create “tempting spoonfuls” of flavors to pair with wines.
“Tempting Spoonfuls – Pairing single bites with glorious wines” – Our first book paired wines from boutique wineries on the west coast, in California, Oregon, and Washington, with delicious spoonfuls.
This book is 60 pages, 18 recipes, lots of beautiful photos, and insights into some fantastic small wineries!
“Tempting Spoonfuls – small bites paired with wines from around the Globe” – This book takes us around the globe to explore 12 wine regions, a wine from the region, and then gives you a recipe for a pairing!
A slightly larger book at 104 pages, this time you learn about pairing with a type of wine from a region. Rather than a specific bottle, you can look for a style of wine from a region and feel confident that it will go well with the recipe pairing we provide. We give you 12 recipes, each to pair with a wine.
The goal is to make your mouth water and encourage you to create your own “Tempting Spoonfuls.”