Saladini Pilastri Rosso Piceno, 2004, Marche….Viticulture in the coastal area near Ancona predates Roman times, yet the wines of the Marche are still relatively unknown save for Fazzi-Battaglia’s “fish” bottle of Verdicchio. The Rosso is an harmonious blend of the ubiquitous Sangiovese, Montepulciano, and a touch of locally grown Passerino. It gives off subtle foresty scents of plum, cherry, spices, and…anise? The fruits continue on a smooth mid-palate built on an interplay of finesse and rustic earthiness. Acidity and tannins are so well integrated as to be unnoticed, the whole effect being one of pleasantly substantial texture in a wine adaptable to a broad range of foods, usually at a price not indicative of its quality.