Rosso Piceno or Piceno DOC is a red wine DOC dating from 1968 from the souther part of Italy’s Le Marche region. It is based on Sangiovese bolstered by Montepulciano grapes. Oz Clarke (2011, p.95) describes it as ‘the glugging red of holidaymakers on Italy’s sandy Adriatic coast.’
The name: Piceno derives from the pre-Roman Piceni or Picene people.
Production zone: Rosso Piceno is the largest quality wine (DOC or DOCG) zone in Le Marche. Its delimited production area spans much of the eastern portion of the provinces of Ancona, Ascoli Piceno, Fermo, and Macerata. Burton Anderson (1990, p.178) says the production zone for Rosso Piceno comprises the hills between the Adriatic and the Apennines, sprawling northwards through much of [Le] Marche, starting from the border with Abruzzo past Senigallia in Ascoli Piceno, Macerata and Ancona provinces, excluding the DOC zones of Rosso Conero and Lacrima di Morro d’Alba.
Soil: Partly clay substrate, with sand and Pleistocene conglomerates.
Rosso Piceno DOC or Piceno DOC: Now 35–85% Montepulciano and 15–50% Sangiovese. Previously it could be made from at least 60-100% Sangiovese and 0-40% Montepulciano (both red grapes) and 0-15% from white wine Passerina and/or Trebbiano grapes.
Rosso Piceno DOC Superiore: From a restricted area of 13 communes between Ascoli and the coast in the southernmost hills of Le Marche, north of the Tronto river and east of Ascoli (Burton Anderson, 1982, p.323). This was the original heartland of the denomination. Yields for Superiore must be lower compared to the ‘normale‘. The wine can optionally be aged 12m in oak.
Rosso Piceno DOC Sangiovese or Piceno DOC Sangiovese: 85–100% Sangiovese plus 0–15% non-aromatic red wine grapes permitted in Le Marche.
Vintages: Burton Anderson (1982, p.330) describes the vintages from 1970-1981 inclusive as follows: 1970 fair to good, 1971 good, 1972 fair, 1973 excellent, 1974: good, some great, 1975 excellent, 1976 poor, 1977 excellent, 1978 good to excellent, 1979 excellent, 1980 good, and 1981 good, scarce.
Wine production: 2006 120,066hl. | 2007 97,569hl. | 2008 110,073hl. |2009 81,489hl. | 2010 74,034hl. | 2016 78,066hl. 6.87 million bottles. | 2017 70,105hl. 4.4 million bottles. | 2018 85,454hl. 6 million bottles. 578 producers overall: 476 grape growers, 143 wine producers, 128 bottlers. |
Attilio Scienza & Serena Imazio, Native Grape Odyssey Vol. 1, p.200 (Positive Press, 2019).
Burton Anderson, Vino – The Wines and Winemakers of Italy (London, 1982).
Burton Anderson, The Wine Atlas of Italy (Mitchell Beazley, 1990), p.171-179.
Production data | 2006-2010 Federdoc as reported by I Numeri del Vino. 2016-2018 Valoritalia.