Villa Ligi ‘Grifoglietto’ Aleatico Superiore
Pergola, Marche 2015
Lavender and brewed cinnamon, wild strawberries and raspberries as well as some good old fashioned Welch’s grape juice. Clearly, I use that last descriptor cautiously as it can so easily be construed as negative. Not in this case, however. This variety is an interesting example of how mistaken identities and pseudonyms can be obstacles to success. Locally known as Vernaccia Rossa di Pergola, which is terribly confusing as there were countless ‘Vernaccia’ wines throughout Italy with zero actual relation. Many also mistook it for Moscato Nero (Black Muscat) pigeon holing it as a minor blending grape or for sweet wine. Francesco Tonelli, an agronomist and sommelier, decided to leave his job as a teacher to search for rare and old vines of the local Vernaccia Rossa. He reproduced, replanted, and helped to establish this tiny “Pergola” appellation – a whopping total of 45 hectares, made up of just two other producers.