When the Tre Bicchieri awards come out each fall, the press can be dizzying - you'd almost think it is easy to win.
But the competition is fierce - more than 40,000 wines are submitted and just 1% receive the Tre Bicchieri award. And money can't buy you love. The wines are blind-tasted and the panelists change every year to assure objectivity. Needless to say, it's a great accomplishment to receive a Tre Bicchieri and we salute all the 2021 winners!
A very special congratulations to Leo Felici who just received his 8th Tre Bicchieri award! After taking the helm from his father in 2008, Leo has won Tre Bicchieri in 8 of his 10 vintages!
What are the odds of winning 8 times over a decade? In the Verdicchio category, no other producer has won more often and only one other has won 8 times. Check it out.
Even as the entire Verdicchio category gains more international popularity for its excellent quality and incredible value, Felici continues to emerge in contest after contest:
- Felici Riserva was named one of the 50 Best Wines of Italy by an international, blind-tasting panel last fall; red wines dominated the list (#1 was Sassacaia), making the accomplishment all the more special
- In the past 3 vintages, Felici has received more awards from European press (Decanter, Jancis, Gambero Rosso) than any other Verdicchio producer
- In the US, Felici has gained wide media coverage from WSJ, WS, Vinous, Forbes, Punch and others; last summer Forbes Magazine ranked Felici Riserva #3 in their list of Italy's Top 50 White Wines
Part of Leo's magic lies in his unique estate. Situated at 500m+ near the base of the Apennine Mountains, Felici's vineyard is the highest in Jesi and higher than most in Matelica (where average elevation is ~450m). This unique setting lends both crispness you'd find in Matelica with a sun-kissed element that is a hallmark of Jesi.
To this unique site, Leo brings a vision for world class Verdicchio, informed by his years as a sommelier at Gordon Ramsey's Savoy and at Enoteca Pinchiorri (which has one of the best cellars in the world). Organic and biodynamic farming, lees aging in stainless and cement, and vinifying with native yeasts are all choices he's made to deliver his winning style.
Finally, Leo's Sina Qua Non is focus. Hard to imagine what it must have been like for him to achieve all these results while battling cancer. He wants people not to think of all these details but to enjoy, to think of the beautiful land and the great pleasure it gives him for people to enjoy his wine.
Compared to other top Verdicchios, Felici's style is both zesty and fresh like you find in Matelica, with salinity and richness more typical of Jesi. It's a great counterpoint to any Verdicchio in your selection - and an unassailable winner for your clientele.
Which works best for your program?