Pecorino -not the cheese!
Pecorino -'wine not the cheese!'
Yes, just like the cheese. The variety’s name is actually thought to have been given due to the sheep themselves, the translation being Pecora. During the end of the summer when the farmers used to bring their flocks back down from the high Abruzzo mountains the Pecorino grape was close to completion. The sheep used to eat the grapes as would the shepherds. The pecorino name was born and given to both the grape variety and the sheep’s cheese. Whether due to the influence of matching terroir or by a fluke of nature the two also pair extremely well and are traditionally served together.
Even though it can produce fantastic, elegant wines the variety was thought to of gone extinct in the 20th century. However, from the small number left cuttings were taken and now the grape is far more common.
The Grapes Characteristics.
The grape typically produces dry wines, that are expressive of terroir and show complex mineral notes. The wine is dry, lemon in colour and high in acidity. The grape commonly produces high sugar levels when ripening, therefore, the wine is often relatively high in alcohol.
The aroma projects soft, floral scents of white blossom and flowers such as jasmine. It's crisp and fresh due to the high acidity levels. The grape also produces relatively high sugar levels that translate into the alcohol content. The grape can produce a range of flavours often consisting of citrusy lime and lemon, sweet pears, jasmine and apricots. Better examples can have a hint of nuts and a wet stone, mineral complexity.
The two main regions that create the best examples of this relatively unknown variety are Abruzzo and Marche in Italy. These coastal areas are cooler than inland allowing the grape retain its naturally high acidity. The grape commonly produces high alcohol wines due to its higher sugar levels.
Pecorino has one key DOCG appellation, Offida Pecorino DOCG in Marche. This DOCG was promoted to this level in 2011 making it a relatively young Italian DOCG . Here Passerina is also celebrated in the making of white wine.