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5218 Lawton Avenue
Oakland, CA 94114

510-654-9159

Oliver McCrum Wines has been importing small production Italian wine and distributing to fine retail and restaurant establishes throughout California since 1994. Over time, our portfolio of producers has steadily grown to over 45 producers from 15 different regions of Italy. We look for typical Italian wines with clarity and freshness, usually made from indigenous Italian grape varieties using clean, transparent winemaking techniques and no obvious use of oak. 

Claudio Morelli

Claudio Morelli is a wine-grower in the little coast town of Fano, south of Pesaro, in the Marche. He makes a number of wines typical of the area, including several made of the vivid, fresh white wine grape called Bianchello di Metauro (or Biancame, according to Ian d’Agata). His Terrazze bottling is brilliant, an excellent dry aperitivo or complement to seafood. We also import two red wines, a Sangiovese and a rare red called Vernaccia Rossa.

Bianchello di Metauro ‘La Vigna delle Terrazze’

Pure Bianchello from a single vineyard near the coast, at around 100 meters above sea level. The soil is tuff (limestone) and sand, the vines were planted in the 1970s (older vines give deeper flavor), the site is very well ventilated by a variety of different breezes including some that come directly off the Adriatic. The grapes are normally picked at the end of September, they are then kept with dry ice for a period of time to extract flavors from the skins, pressed, and the resulting must is fermented slowly at low temperature in stainless steel tanks using selected yeasts. No oak or malolactic fermentation; the wine is aged on the fine lees for about six months before bottling.

Notes: If flavor were color, Bianchello would be a vivid pale Granny Smith green. No oak or other winemaking notes to get in the way, just vivid aromas and flavors from the grapes (apple, of course, mandarin peel, herbs) and a long crisp finish. Drink with seafood, or as a dry aperitivo; why yes, I’ll have a glass too.

Sangiovese ‘La Vigna delle Terrazze’

Pure Sangiovese from a single vineyard near the coast, at around 100 meters above sea level. The soil is tuff (limestone) and sand, the vines were planted in the 1970s (older vines give deeper flavor), and the site is very well ventilated by a variety of different breezes including some that come directly off the Adriatic. The grapes are harvested at some point between the end of September and the end of October, depending on the vintage; they are de-stemmed, crushed, and fermented in stainless steel tanks. After a total of about two weeks of maceration the wine is pressed off the skins and aged in stainless steel for about 12 months.

Notes: varietally typical mid-red color; aroma and flavor of red berries, herbs, and a classic hint of violets. Perfect with pizza or many different pasta dishes.

Vernaccia Rossa (Aleatico) ‘Suffragium’, Marche IGT Rosso

The Aleatico grape, in this region referred to as Vernaccia Rossa, is a semi-aromatic red wine variety. Ian d’Agata: ‘Among the wine world’s most undervalued treasures, wines made with Aleatico can demonstrate a thrilling combination of raciness and richness. Aleatico is a delicious, lightly aromatic red that will have you thinking of black muscat wine.’

This example is from a single vineyard near the coast, at around 100 meters above sea level. The soil is tuff (limestone) and sand, the vines were planted in the 1970s (older vines give deeper flavor), and the site is very well ventilated by a variety of different breezes including some that come directly off the Adriatic. The grapes are harvested at the end of August or the beginning of September, de-stemmed and crushed, then fermented in stainless steel tanks using selected yeast. Total maceration time is about 2 weeks, then the wine is pressed off the skins and aged in stainless steel for 12 months.