Masseria Li Veli verdeca comes from Cellino San Marco in Southern Italy (the heel of the boot). I confess when I bought this bottle I had no idea where in Italy the wine was from but I did know some info on the varietal. I knew it was, at least in the past, used to make vermouth. I knew it was a wine with some body. But as usual, nothing matters until you taste.
This is an unusual big bodied white wine from Italy I thought half a dozen things after my first taste--it has a thickness like a riesling (but precious little else in common with that grape), it has floral notes that you might expect from a gewurztraminer or perhaps a viognier. Its fruit tastes reminds of melons or papaya with a little bit of nuttiness mixed in for measure. This is all balanced out with minerality and an acidity that, to me, peeked through in the finish.
This is a big, bold wine that Northern California chardonnay drinkers might find interesting (even though it really isn't that similar). Yet, if you like your white wines big with some fruit, you may be on board with this verdeca.
Masseria Li Veli has a project called ASKOS where they aim to "rediscover" ancient varietals from Apulia. Many of these have almost disappeared. Wines that are part of the project are made exclusively with the indigenous grapes which are cultivated using traditional methods. Find out more HERE.