Just how many grape varieties are there in Italy? More than 350 varieties have authorised status, and estimates range widely as to how many hundreds (even thousands) there may be in total.
This wine, from the Marches (that coastal and hilly region of the centre, adjoining Umbria and Tuscany), is the first wine I have had from the pecorino grape. Pecorino, grown in Le Marche and a handful of other Italian regions, was a grape 're-discovered' by Guido Cocci Grifoni in the 1980s. An early ripening white grape, pecorino can develop rich flavours, textures and potential alcohol. Low productivity had caused its decline until the recent revival of interest.
This bottle started out showing cheesy characters, with passionfruit and pear carrying through the nose and into the palate. Nice, lingering phenolics, even a bit of tannin, takes you out (along with some oldish, slightly oxidised, citrus notes). Interesting wine, and could go well with antipasti such as grilled marinated vegetables or a seafood salad.