Andy Howard MW, Sara Bachiorri and Michael Garner tasted 75 wines, with 1 Exceptional and 4 Outstanding.
Verdicchio panel tasting scores
75 wines tasted
Highly recommended 59
Entry criteria: producers and UK agents were invited to submit their latest-release vintages of still dry white wines from DOCs Verdicchio di Matelica or Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi, and DOCGs Verdicchio di Matelica Riserva or Castelli di Jesi Verdicchio Riserva
In a white wine world dominated by Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, extolling the virtues of Verdicchio – the Italian white grape made infamous by curvy, amphora-shaped bottles in the 1970s – might seem like hard work. Yet ask Italian wine experts for their opinion of this variety and you may be surprised.
In his book Native Wine Grapes of Italy, Ian d’Agata states: ‘Verdicchio is arguably Italy’s greatest variety.’ The results of this panel tasting seemed to support the view that Verdicchio is a grape capable of producing high-quality, ageworthy wines.
Scroll down for the top-scoring Verdicchio wines
The results were certainly impressive, averaging 91 points across the range of 75 wines. This came as no surprise to Italian wine expert and panel judge Michael Garner, who commented that ‘this Verdicchio tasting more than lived up to my expectations – and they were already high’.
Andy Howard MW is a Decanter contributing editor and DWWA 2022 Regional Chair for Central Italy (excluding Tuscany). A former retail wine buyer, he now runs his own consultancy Vinetrades.
Sara Bachiorri works in buying for merchant WoodWinters. First a DWWA judge in 2013, in the 2022 competition she judged in the Piedmont and Veneto categories. Born in Perugia, Umbria, she was formerly head sommelier at The Glasshouse in Kew, then at Chez Bruce in southwest London.
Michael Garner is co-owner of Italian specialist Tria Wines, author of Amarone and The Fine Wines of Verona (£35 Infinite Ideas), and DWWA Regional Chair for Northern Italy (excluding Piedmont & Verona).