The Bianchello del Metauro Albaspino is made from 100% Biancame, a local, small-berries clone of Trebbiano that is closely related to the Procanico of Orvieto. There are just two hectares of Biancame at Villa Ligi. The grapes are hand-harvested, fermented in concrete tanks, and the wine matures for six months with regular batonnage, before bottling in the spring following the harvest.
In the glass, this lovely white wine has a limpid, pale primrose yellow color, with flashes of white gold at the edge. Delicate aromas of peach blossoms and mandarin zest emerge at first, along with fleeting suggestions of sweet basil, ripe kiwis, casaba melon rind, and white tea, as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is graceful and streamlined, with discreet citrus, floral and herbal elements that echo the nose, all seasoned with fresh orchard fruit acidity and fine minerality. The overall impression is one of perfect balance, restraint, and irresistible drinkability.
About this wine producer: The Tonelli’ family has grown grapes since 1912, when Stefano’s great grandfather, Antonio Tonelli, planted vines between his rows of wheat, and with his brother, began to make wine for local consumption. In 1964, Antonio’s son, Cesare, built a new winery, and in 1985, his son, Francesco, began to estate-bottle some of the production. Originally a teacher, Francesco found himself drawn back to the farm by the growing demand for bottled wine, and eventually, he contributed to the creation of the D.O.C. Pergola, and dedicated himself to the preservation of local grape varieties that were at risk of extinction. He still works every day, and recently co-authored an impressive book on the history of viticulture in the Marche, and on his lifelong efforts to save endangered local varieties. Today, Stefano Tonelli and his wife, Léa Pailloncy, who arrived at Villa Ligi in 2014, manage day-to-day operations.