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Wine Community / Vignadelmar | Published DoctorWine N°21
Fattoria Le Terrazze (1): A Great Classic
by Vignadelmar 26-09-2013

Visiting Fattoria Le Terrazze was a blast from the past, a pilgrimage to those who made the wines I drank often in my youth, some of which are still carefully tucked away in my cellar. Wines that for some reason have little by little disappeared from my table and the buzz between wine lovers like me. And so, after discussing this with Pierpaolo Rastelli (Gambero Rosso) and Marchino, my trusted and long-time drinking buddy, we decided to visit the winery to understand how and why this could have happened. In order to do this I had to contact the owners and I was warned that Antonio Terni could be a little difficult, not always inclined to sociable. But being incorrigible by nature, I sent him my standard email to test the waters. He replied with immediate cordiality and readiness. And so off we went to Numana, on the hills facing Monte Conero, to a lovely, old country villa furnished with taste and where we were welcomed by three festive Labradors.
Terni first gave us a tour of the winery where we saw his big vats and barriques, both new and used. He then took us to see his various vineyards and explained their relative exposures. The vineyards were wonderful, cultivated without any dogmas or religions to respect, except that of seeking the best quality to bring into the cellar. Fattoria Le Terrazze was and remains a winery where making wine out of Montepulciano achieves its maximum expression, with wines like Vision of J, Sassi Neri and Chaos (a blend). Terni is a really big fan of Bob Dylan, going to see him over 100 times in the past ten years, and this is why he took the name of one of his songs, Vision of Johanna, for his top of the line, a wine he produces rarely and only in an exceptional year.
Before looking at each wine we tasted, let me anticipate some of the conclusions we reached at the end of the intense day of drinking: Sassi Neri remains a very great Montepulciano at an honest price; Chaos is more of an ancien régime wine, in other words one that is not following trends but boy is it good! Finally, Vision of J, I could go one forever trying to describe it but, believe me, among the bottles we tasted there was one that was absolutely out of this world. In conclusion, I think I can easily say that Fattoria Le Terrazze wines may have disappeared from the limelight but not through any demerit of their own. The reason could be the desire of the producers to avoid center stage, to not do anything or everything to just grab attention, be in the spotlight. Another reason could be the fault of a new school of wine criticism on the web that, in the constant search for something new, risks forgetting those who have contributed to making certain zones great. Finally, I would like to thank both Terni and his wife Georgina. They welcomed us in their home as if we were old friends, sharing with us a lot of bottles and some excellent food. Our discussions were lighthearted and free spirited, interesting and revealing and so it should come as no surprise that their wines were equally as good.
 

 
Sassi Neri 2008
Conero Docg Riserva
Fattoria le Terrazze

Rating » 87
Category » Red
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

A 100% Montepulciano wine aged in small oak barrels. This vintage has a lot of fruit, especially in the aroma. The mouthfeel, on the other hand, is very cutting even if the attack of the alcohol is warm and significant. In any case, the color is, as usual, very dark with bright violet reflections, the bouquet and flavor are distinct, certainly not subtle. A wine with many sides, intriguing. A fine companion for aged cheese and game.

22 euros
 

 
Sassi Neri 2002
Rosso Conero Doc Riserva
Fattoria le Terrazze

Rating » 90
Category » Red
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

As you can notice the name is different. In fact, with the 2004 vintage a DOCG was created that replaced all the previous DOC Riserva wines. I will never stop from repeating that the horrible 2002 vintage in the Marche region produced some good Montepulciano wines (Kurni from Oasi degli Angelis, for example) and this Sassi Neri is no exception. The tannins are thick, locked down, there are scents of good leather, the aroma is strongly balsamic and the very long finish make this all very drinkable. To drink and drink again.

25 euros
 

 
Sassi Neri 2000
Rosso Conero Doc Riserva
Fattoria le Terrazze

Rating » 89
Category » Red
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

You would never guess this is 13 years old. The mouthfeel is iridescent, both soft and captivating, with almost silky tannins. Cherry dominates the flavor while the aroma has scents of cinchona and spice. The color is perfect, fully intact, while the wood was used with millimetric precision. A truly great wine.

28 euros
 

 
Sassi Neri 1998
Rosso Conero Doc Riserva
Fattoria le Terrazze

Rating » 88
Category » Red
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

Starting with this vintage and continuing with those that follow, we enter a kind of no man’s land because it is very rare to find wines like this that are so old. Yet it is wines like this one that make it clear how long they can age. In fact, this bottle was very good, fresh, with an aromatic garnish of wild herbs from Mediterranean brush. The taste lacks a little boldness and while it may be quite slender, it is extremely elegant.

30 euros
 

 
Sassi Neri 1995
Rosso Conero Doc Riserva
Fattoria le Terrazze

Rating » NV
Category » Red
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

At first glance, seeing how the color has unusually faded, this wine may seem to be irreparably compromised, evolved. But when you bring the glass to your nose clear scents of orange and cinnamon emerge. The mouthfeel, on the other hand, it quite surprising, a true miracle, still very fresh, long, intriguing, with tannins that have totally dissolved. For sure it has its shortcoming but then again it is 18 year old. I would prefer not to rate it, all I will say it that I would not hesitate to drink it again.

Price: N/A (impossible to find)
 

 
Sassi Neri 1988
Rosso Conero Doc Riserva
Fattoria le Terrazze

Rating » NV
Category » Red
Region » Marche
Country » Italy

This was the first vintage produced, a 25-year-old Marche Montepulciano! The fact that Antonio Terni let us taste this was a great honor. Compared to the 1995, the color has held up better, for sure it has broken down somewhat but not too much. The aroma is dominated by notes of tobacco, while the flavor is a little dirty, dusty, with something that isn’t quite right. This bottle is also very interesting and I refuse to rate it.

Price: N/A (impossible to find)
 

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Wineries
Fattoria le Terrazze
Producer Famiglia Terni
Via Musone, 4
60026 Numana AN
Phone +39 071 7390352 - Fax +39 071 7391285
web www.fattorialeterrazze.it
email info@fattorialeterrazze.it
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