Lacrima di Morro or Lacrima di Morro d’Alba DOC is a light perfumed, aromatic red wine-only DOC dating from 1985 from around the ancient town of Morro d’Alba, south of Senigallia and just east of the port city of Ancona on the Adriatic coast in Italy’s Le Marche region. Lacrima di Morro is made from the aromatic Lacrima grape (85-100%) plus an optional 0-15% non-aromatic red grapes permitted in the Le Marche, such as Montepulciano and Sangiovese. The original rules dating from 1985 permitted the addition of up to 15% white Verdicchio grapes (Ian D’Agata, 2014, p321-323). From 1999 this was amended to 0-15% non-aromatic red grapes The wine can be dry, semi-sweet, still or semi-sparkling. Both Superiore and Passito (a tannic but sweet wine from air-dried grapes) forms are also permitted. When the zone was established in 1985, it was aimed to prevent the Lacrima grape variety from falling into disuse.

History: The conqueror Federico Barbarossa was supposed to have tasted the wine whilst besieging Ancona in 1157.

Production zone: The production zone includes a restricted area of 6 municipalities north of the Esino river between (and including) Morro d’Alba and Senigallia, and covers the other municipalities of Monte San Vito, San Marcello, Belvedere Ostrense, and Ostra, all of which are in Ancona province. Vineyards in valley bottoms are excluded, as are the lowest valleys bordering the Adriatic Sea in the municipality of Senigallia.

Vineyard area & Wine production | 2019 ‘252ha. Total grapes produced 26.605 Quintals. Number of wineries 25 (most are super small). Total bottling only 1.200.000 bottles. Lacrima has to be produced, vinified and bottled locally in the DOC area, so approximately 10 other wineries outside of the area have their Lacrima made and bottled by local producers like me,’ says Lorenzo Marotti Campi of the Marotti Campi winery (by email Nov 2019). | 2018 16,832hl. 1.3 million bottles. 84 producers overall: 60 grape growers, 31 wine producers, 31 bottlers. | 2017 10,676hl. 1.2 million bottles. | 2016 18,624hl. 1.52 million bottles. | 1999 50ha. | 1985 7ha.

Winemaking: Lorenzo Marotti Campi says ‘Lacrima is well-endowed with tannins and coloring matter (anthocyanin). It keeps its colour when ageing. Lacrima is seen as Beaujolais-like but this is a problem of perception. This was not the fault of the grape. I am no fan of the 100% carbonic maceration Beaujolais-style version. Lacrima does not need to emphasise its primary aromas because these are already there as nature intended. Forcing an extra-aromatic style on an already aromatic grape is by any logic counter-productive. The aromas will end up fading prematurely. I am looking for a dry wine. For this the grapes need to be picked early abd ripe, not overripe or really late harvested.’ Lacrima di Morro rarely sees oak (Ian D’Agata, 2014, p.321-323).

Doug Wregg (July 2011) says ‘the use of the governo Toscano is recommended in making the wine. The method involves the inducement of a second fermentation of the wine, following racking, through the addition of a certain quantity of must pressed from selected and partly dried grapes. The addition must be made no later than December 31st of the year of the harvest.’

Wine style: ‘Dark, black-coloured wines. Lacrima ages well. Typical flavours include dark rose, blackberry, violet, and lavander in young wines. Aged examples show juniper, nutmeg and pepper,’ (source: seminar at Collisioni Marche 02nd Sept 2017). ‘Lacrima Nera has more tannin than Ruchè. ‘A Lacrima Nera wine which tastes quite tannic has probably had Sangiovese added to it,’ says Ian D’Agata in Jesi (Collisioni) 02 Sep 2017. If the wine lacks aroma it means that some Montepulciano has been added (a maximum of 15% of other grapes are allowed under the rules).

Described by Burton Anderson (1990, p.175) as being ‘purple-crimson, slightly foxy berry-like odour, ripe plum flavour, fades quickly.’

Wineries

Certified organic, Biodynamic practices: Col di Corte.

Certified organic: Fattoria San Lorenzo.

Other: Antica Cantina Sant’Amico. | Landi. | Lucchetti. | Mancinelli. | Marotti Campi. | Maurizio Marconi. | San Marcello. | Vicari.

Bibliography

Burton Anderson, The Wine Atlas of Italy, Mitchell Beazley, 1990 p.171-179.

Disciplinare di produzione dei vini a denominazione di origine controllata Lacrima di Morro or Lacrima di Morro di Morro d’Alba (revision 28 Oct 2013).

Ian D’Agata, Native wine grapes of Italy (University of California Press, 2014)

Nicolas Belfrage MW, From Brunello to Zibibbo–The Wines of Tuscany, Central and Southern Italy (2nd edition, London, 2003). 

Production data | 2006-2010 Federdoc as reported by I Numeri del Vino. 2016-2018 Valoritalia.