The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1860s. Indeed, they were the first to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label, in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970 and was the first to make a single vineyard wine, Calvarino, in 1971. Nino’s two sons, Andrea and Dario, now work with him running the estate.
The grapes (100% Garganega) were grown in the vineyard of `La Rocca`, which takes its name from the adjacent medieval castle and fortress (“La Rocca”) that dominate the town of Soave, just east of Verona. The soil in La Rocca is unique in Soave in that it is a limestone outcrop (the same soil as in Valpolicella Classico) in a sea of basalt. Because of this soil, Pieropan feel they get sufficient ripeness in the Garganega to make a wine solely from this variety.
After gentle, whole bunch pressing, there was a short period of maceration on the skins followed by fermentation at 20ºC in stainless steel tanks and 500 litre oak casks because Pieropan feels Garganega is too delicate for fermentation in barrique. 60% of the wine then remained in 500 litre oak casks and 40% aged in 2,000 litre `botti` or barrels for one year. The wine then stayed for four months in bottle before release.
Golden yellow in the glass, with intense, concentrated perfumes that follow through to the palate. Classic La Rocca aromas of almond essence and honey lead to an elegant and beautifully balanced palate, with notes of vanilla and almond kernel, ripe apricots and exotic fruit. The long finish has a light minerally edge. Really quite “Burgundian” in style.
Dating from 1888, the Poggi family’s wines combines traditional wooden casks with the very latest technology. Corte dei Castaldi is made with grapes from a selection of local growers, all dried in Poggi’s barns for 4 months (appassimento) and estate bottled.
Made from Corvina, Rondinella & Molinara.
Very dark in appearance with a nose full of dark fruits and hints of bitter chocolate. The full and rich palate has concentrated dark fruit flavours with a twist of dark chocolate and spice on the long finish.
Mauro Molino’s estate amounts to 12 hectares, half of which is planted with Nebbiolo for the production of top quality Barolo. The balance is divided between Barbera, Dolcetto and a smaller quantity,of Roero Arneis.
100% Nebbiolo from vines aged between 25 and 40 years grown on a south, southwest exposure.
The harvest took place mid-October followed by maceration on the skins for 9 days in steel tanks at controlled temperature. The alcoholic fermentation was also in steel tanks for 20 days with the malolactic fermentation and ageing being in French oak barriques for 24 months.
Garnet red in colour, the nose is rich and intense with the bouquet of ripe fruits. The palate is smooth with velvety tannins and long finish.
This property was purchased by Valpolicella producer Marilisa Allegrini in 2006. Marilisa has continued to invest heavily in the estate and has brought in winemaker Nicola Biasi to build on Poggio San Polo’s already considerable reputation and impressive levels of quality.
Situated in the eastern part of Montalcino, this estate covers 22 hectares of which 16 are under vine, and produces wines that are classic in style but with a bit more weight than would be found to the north of the zone.
Poggio San Polo`s Brunello vineyards cover approximately nine hectares planted between 1990 and 2000. They are situated at an altitude of 450 metres above sea level, facing south-southwest on chalky, clay soils.
The grapes (100% Sangiovese) were hand picked and after a gentle pressing, fermentation took place in temperature-controlled concrete tanks with temperatures reaching a maximum of 28-30°C, with a long maceration on the skins lasting 20-22 days. The wine was aged in new, medium-toasted, French oak tonneaux (500 litres) for a period of 24 months, followed by extended ageing in bottle before release.
An intense ruby red with garnet hues. The typical aromas of violets and small red berries are followed by hints of vanilla, cedar and coffee. On the palate it is full-bodied and warm with a densely-woven texture and robust tannins, while the finish is persistent and rounded.
The Allegrini family estate covers 100 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area. The family has been growing grapes here for six generations. All of Allegrini’s impeccable wines are produced from estate-grown fruit from these vineyards. Across the range and from vintage to vintage, they have superb fruit, balance, intensity, length, elegance, tipicity and, above all, drinkability.
The family`s southeast facing vineyards are located at 180-280 metres above sea level. The soils are varied, but mostly chalky, clayey and well-drained. The older vines are 30 years old on average.
The grapes were dried at `Terre di Fumane`, a state of the art drying centre with controlled temperature and humidity. By drying the grapes under these conditions, the development of botrytis was avoided and the integrity of the fruit preserved. During the drying period, the grapes lost 40-45% of their original weight. Vinification took place in the first two weeks of January. The dried grapes were de-stemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless steel between 8-22ºC. Maceration lasted 25 days, with daily pumping over. The wine was racked into 100% new oak barrique (225 litres) in March for 18 months. After blending, it spent seven months in 8,700 litre oak casks, and 14 months in bottle.
A true classic of the Valpolicella Classico area. Deep and inky in the glass, this wine has imposing structure and depth, as much in its aromas of mature fruit and spices, as on the palate, where the alcohol is sustained by the perfect degree of acidity and ripe tannins.
Aldo Vajra’s (pronounced Vyra) wines are characterised by pristine flavours and clearly defined perfumes. These characters are attributable to the position of his vineyards at about 400 metres above sea level in the village of Vergne in the commune of Barolo. G.D. Vajra was established in 1972 and named after Aldo’s father, Giuseppe Domenico Vajra. Aldo has been gradually increasing the area under vine to 60 hectares, of which 10 are Nebbiolo for Barolo, located in such strategic spots as Bricco delle Viole, Fossati, La Volta and Coste di Vergne. A traditionalist, Aldo adheres to old-style winemaking methods, though blends these with new techniques, such as temperature controlled fermentation, to produce such superbly elegant wines.
The ‘Bricco delle Viole’ (vineyards of the violet) vineyard is located at altitudes of 380-470 metres above sea level in the commune of Barolo and covers 4.79 hectares. One part of the vineyard is planted with vines (Nebbiolo) which are now over 60 years old and yield less than 30 hectolitres per hectare. Its high altitude and long ripening season gives the wine an aromatic complexity and richness often lacking lacking in lower vineyards.
Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at temperatures up to 31°C and lasted between 30-40 days, with regular pumping over. The wine was then matured for 42-48 months in Slavonian oak barrels.
Brilliant ruby red, this Barolo has aromas of cherries, dark berries, violets and dried roses with nuances of citrus fruits and mint. On the palate, there are silky tannins. The wine is well balanced with a long delicately spiced finish.
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