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The Lacrima Grape

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About Lacrima

(Synonyms: Lacrima di Morro, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba.)


Map showing the Marches region of Italy.

Lacrima is an ancient red-wine grape originating and still wholly (or nearly so) produced in the town of Morro d’Alba in the province of Ancona, in the Marche (“the Marches”) region of Italy.

There can be some confusion about the name: the grape is simply Lacrima, but the wine made from it is legally Lacrima di Morro d’Alba, so the grape is often called that as well. According to Italian wine laws, Lacrima di Morro d’Alba must contain at least 85% Lacrima, but in practice it is usually 100%.

(Do not confuse Lacrima di Morro d’Alba wines with the like-named but wholly unrelated red “Lacryma Christi” wines, which are made with the Piedirosso grape.)

Lacrima is yet another of those seemingly countless wonderful Italian wine grapes that, after a long history, nearly vanished (a mere 2.5 acres planted as of 1985) over the last hundred years or so—a period initiated by the phylloxera crisis of the late 19th Century in Europe—but was saved and resuscitated by a small handful of dedicated partisans.

Lacrima wines are typically quite dark in color, but soft and low in tannins (meaning they are best consumed young). But far and away their most distinguishing characteristic is their powerful aroma: a deeply floral nose, with violets and roses especially emphasized. The palate is said to be spices overlaying dark fruit and a hint of vanilla. That floral nose is so strong that it puts some people off; as one wine retailer put it, “It’s a polarizing wine. You either love it or you hate it.”

Factoid: In 1167, Frederick Barbarossa captured Ancona, and is said to thereafter have become enamored of the wines of this grape.

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Some Descriptions of Lacrima Wines

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Some Lacrimas to Try

(About this list.)

While there are quite a few Lacrima wines available in the U.S., the great majority are carried only by a few shops—often only one. The ones listed below should have fairly decent availability.

Giusti Lacrima di Morro d’Alba
(They produce many named Lacrima bottlings: this, however, is their basic bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

Velenosi Querci’Antica Lacrima di Morro d’Alba
(Don’t confuse this with their pricier “Superiore” bottling.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Lacrima wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 30 October 2021, at 11:26 pm Pacific Time.