Review: Wines of Garofoli, 2020 Releases
Garofoli‘s 2020 releases, largely built for warm-weather drinking, have arrived. Not familiar with the Italian operation? Some notes from the brand follow.
As the oldest family-owned winery in the Marche region of Italy, Garofoli dates back to 1871 when Antonio Garofoli began producing wine in his hometown of Loreto for the steady stream of pilgrims who flocked to Loreto to visit the Basilica della Santa Casa. This structure is said to be the house where the Virgin Mary was born and where Jesus was conceived and raised.
In 1901, Antonio’s son, Gioacchino, founded the Garofoli winery and began the family’s trajectory of making wines commercially. His two sons, Franco and Dante, succeeded him in the management of the estate after World War II. Now led by the fifth generation, the family’s estate vineyards cover a total area of about 128 acres, situated in the zones of Montecarotto (Jesi area), Paterno and Piancarda (Mt. Conero area) and Castelfidardo.
Today, Garofoli produces a diverse array of Marche wines, including exceptional, terroir-driven Verdicchio, a varietal that has been cultivated in the region for over a century and that the family is largely associated with elevating the status of. Known for being an incredibly versatile and ageable white wine, Verdicchio gets its famous minerality from the white calcareous clay soils found in the Marche. Beyond Verdicchio, Garofoli also makes a number of Montepulciano-based red and rosato wines and some Sangiovese, all of which are typical of the region.
2019 Garofoli Macrina Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC – That’s a mouthful of a name for a pretty simple wine, one which focuses its flavors on notes of apricot jam and white flowers, whipped up into a slurry that, as it develops, recalls both almond nougat and grated lemon peel. Garofoli makes this wine from slightly late-harvested grapes, which clearly influence the fairly creamy body. It could however use a bit more acidity to cut through some cotton candy elements on the finish, but otherwise it drinks with a clear focus on summertime. A- / $16
2019 Garofoli Kómaros Montepulciano Rosato Marche IGT – A simple rose of Montepulciano grapes, this wine hits all the usual notes — gentle florals, sweet berries, and a buttery creaminess to give it a chewy quality on the body. The finish sees some vanilla and spice. Nothing fancy, but perfectly fine at this price. B+ / $14
2017 Garofoli PianCarda Rosso Cònero DOC – 100% Montepulciano. This is, again, a simple wine, a bit astringent and tight, with a light vinegar kick and a body that runs to plums and black cherries. Hints of dark chocolate, vanilla, and baking spice arrive on the back end — with a gently sour conclusion. B / $17
2017 Garofoli Podium Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Classico Superiore DOC – 100% Verdicchio. Bittersweet and lightly sour, this wine pours on notes of honeydew melon, grapefruit, and gooseberry, filtered through some of that almond nougat seen in the Macrina bottling. While this wine has a bigger body (and can stand up to aging; this 2017 is the current release), it doesn’t stray far from the Verdicchio formula, with a whiff of white flowers on the finish. A- / $30