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The Grechetto Grape


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About Grechetto

(Synonyms: Grechetto di Orvieto, Grechetto Bianco, Grechetto Spoletino)

Background

Map showing the Umbria region of Italy

Grechetto is a white-wine grape originating in Greece (hence the name) but now grown almost exclusively in central Italy, notably in the region of Umbria. It is important to not confuse Grechetto with the similarly named but quite distinct Greco grape. Note that this grape’s proper full name is actually “Grechetto di Orvieto”, though almost everyone just calls it Grechetto. (Also note that so-called “Grechetto di Todi” is a different grape altogether, better referred to as “Pignoletto”)

Grechetto was and is often used in blends, notably Orvieto, and not so often bottled as a monovarietal, though with its rapidly rising reputation, that is changing. Formerly, its contribution to Orvieto was usually small (sometimes zero), but nowadays, with its rising prestige, it is included in ever-higher percentages (though 45% is the legal maximum). To bottle a monovarietal, most producers must use the normally lowly designation “Umbria” (lowly because so generic, sort of like “California” for a U.S. wine). The Colli Martani appellation, however, does allow 100% Grechetto wines to be so labelled.

The most noteworthy type of Grechetto is probably the Grechetto di Todi (Todi being a legal D.O.C., or appellation); there is also a Grechetto Spolentino. While the di Todi seems preferred, both sorts have their partisans. (Technically, the di Todi variety is “clone g%” and other Grechettos are “clone g109”.)

The wines are typically light in color, medium-bodied (sometimes even full-bodied), with distinct acidity and tree-fruit and citrus aromas and flavors. It does not usually see oak, but some producers do make oaked bottlings, often with malolactic fermentations (which gives the rich, buttery quality so many Chardonnays possess). Many reviewers also speak of a distinctly nut-like overtone (almonds are usually cited, but also hazelnuts) to the taste, and some minerality.

Grechetto, like many white-wine grapes with long growing seasons, is also used to make sweet dessert wines, in this case wines of some fame.

Factoid: The ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder, in his work, Historia Naturalis wrote Peculiaris est tudernis (it is typical of Todi), in reference to Grechetto di Todi’s slightly bitter aftertaste.

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Some Descriptions of Grechetto Wines

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Some Grechettos to Try

(About this list.)

Antonelli “San Marco” Grechetto

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” 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



Arnaldo-Caprai ”Grecante” Grechetto

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” 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



Argillae Grechetto

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” 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



Sportoletti Assisi Grechetto

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” 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

This is another of those wine varieties for which there is no option that seems any better than what's already listed above.

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 18 January 2020, at 1:24 am Pacific Time.