On the Road with the Grape Guy

Tenuta Santi Giacomo e Filippo (Marché)

07 Sep 2021

(August 2021) ... Tenuta Santi Giacomo e Filippo is a spa/resort with a winery as part of their makeup; it only stands to reason really, as they have 360 hectares of property – so plenty of room for a vineyard, but surprisingly only 14 hectares of grapes are planted ... But on those 14 hectares they have 11 different varieties of which six are red (Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese Grosso, Merlot, Montepulciano and Syrah) and five whites (Incrocio Bruni 54, Biancamé / Bianchello, Verdicchio, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc). They make only 50,000 bottles per year of which 30% is exported.

Marche signThe winery was established in 2006, and their new production area is located in the center of their vineyards - which means, that during harvest the winery is no more than 5 minutes away in any direction - allowing them to maintain the freshness of their grapes, instead of them sitting all day picked and in bins in the sun, and it also minimizes the bruising of fruit, as more trips to the winery can be made and at more frequent intervals.

Traditional harvest is between mid-August (for their sparkling wine) and into the second half of September - this is due to the diversity of grapes they grow. At the time of my visit, the Verdicchio was off and the sparkling wine process had already begun.

The most interesting of these grapes is Incrocio Bruni 54, or Bruni's Cross 54, a crossing between Verdicchio and Sauvignon Blanc, made by a gentleman with the last name Bruni, who attempted crossings multiple times but settled on his 54th attempt as being his favorite (Incrocio means crossing) – he had actually tried more than 54 but this was the one he liked the best - I am also surprised he could not come up with a better name than this, I questioned this no more.

The winery does not use all its grapes, in fact the ones they do not use end up being blended into a stainless-steel tank and sold off as bulk wine to the locals so they can fill their jugs, bottles, etc and use it as their “house wine”.


The Wines (tasted all but one from their portfolio)

"Loving, listening up and respecting times imposed by nature herself, offers us better wines." - Marianna Bruscoli (winemaker)

2020 La Fogliola Bianco
Using mainly Biancamé (a Marché varietal - which also grows in the Emilia-Romagna region) ... it is also known as the grape of Bianchella del Metauro (Marché) and Colli di Rimini (Emilia-Romagna).

This is a simple, fruity and floral wine that is best described as a "daily wine" or "daily drinker". (***+)

2020 La Fogliola Rosso
Made from Sangiovese Grosso.

Another “daily wine”, but this one, unlike its white counterpart, has a little more depth: red and sour cherry with cranberry notes that show themselves through the acidity - fresh and lively - deliciously simple.  (*** ½)

Rose from Marche2020 Ca'Rosella
This is where the Syrah (70%) and Montepulciano (30%) goes - into this estate rosé - and they have made a lovely version in 2020. I was told that the 2019 version was made as an afterthought, was darker and had an intensity to the palate (Tavel colour and rich style), while the 2020 was thought out from the vineyard to the production in the winery (and they have created what today’s international rosé lover is looking for – I am told that dry rosé has not fully been embraced by the Italians yet – and at present is only made in certain pockets).

Lovely watermelon, raspberry, lemon with a nice pith-like note with watermelon-whites on the finish - a lovely freshness, good acidity, dry, gulpable made with a beautiful Provencal like colour – the refreshment factor is a solid 9 (out of 10).  (*** ½+)

NV Isabecta Rosato (sparkling rosé)
A Charmat method bubble made using Sangiovese Grosso.

Fresh and lively with red berry fruit and a touch of lime, it has a refreshment factor of 8 (out of 10) and a quaff-ability factor to match ... This is one of those wines worth drinking, and drinking a lot of.  (*** ½+)

2019 BellantonioBellantonio and Amfora
Wonder where that Incrocio Bruni 54 goes? It sees two of their wines: the Anfora and this one.

Notes of hay, honeysuckle and beeswax, plus a touch of floral (all on the nose), the palate delivers citrus pith and beeswax while replaying hints of grapefruit on the finish.  (*** ½)

2018 Bellantonio Elevato in Anfora
A winery exclusive, of which only 3,500 bottles are produced every year (always and only) - once again made from the Incrocio Bruni 54, which remains in the Anfora for 18 months; it was stressed to me (quite a few times) that this is not a skin-fermented white, it is an amphora white, obviously the winery does not want this wine to be judged in the orange wine category.

Quite the interesting bottle of wine that shows notes of orange peel, lemon peel, floral and honeysuckle. It just might be one of the better amphora-aged wines I have tasted to date.  (*** ½)

2018 Fortercole
Since 2016 this blended red is a 50/50 mix of Montepulciano and Sangiovese Grosso aged 2-plus years in oak barrels.

Smoky, black cherry, blackberry, mocha and earthy - it's a wine to drink with mixed grilled meats ... and from experience I can tell you it works very well with that.  (*** ½+)


As you would expect in Italy, and on any agricultural plantation in this country, there are 400 olive trees planted and olive oil is made, while I never saw the trees I did taste the oil.


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