Enzo Mecella 1998 “Rubelliano” Rosso Conero DOC, Le Marche

Posted by Keith Wallace

Their use of the Montepulciano grape more or less characterizes the reds wines of the region. Even though other red varietals are grown, it has become Marche’s signature and is best known in the DOCs of Conero and Piceno. The former has roughly one-tenth the acreage of its southern counterpart yet adheres to an exact blending formula as specified by its DOC regulations – Montepulciano makes up at least 85%, Sangiovese to 15%.

In Fabriano, where Mecella produces his wines, growing conditions allow for slower, more even development and more depth and nuance than usually found in Piceno. His barrique aged “Rubelliano” gives off a complex and elegant nose of spice with matured fruits, of raisins and prunes.

You encounter black cherries and dark, foresty berries in the mouth, with an underlying layer of damp earth. The tannins are still there a decade later, and it opens with some tightness, but it comes around to drink smoothly and well. This is proof positive that even an often pedestrian and maligned grape can become sublime in the hands of a dedicated craftsman.

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