PL Award 1: Silver - SWA 2017 PL Award 2: Silver - IWC 2016
Country: Italy Region: Veneto Vintage: 2020
Category: Red Wine Color: Red
Producer: Alpha Zeta
Bud burst was delayed by seven days compared to 2017, but
rainfall and high temperatures in the following weeks brought
forward flowering. Overall, the grapes developed normally and in
perfect condition. Yields were slightly higher than those in 2017.
Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines set out to
produce a range of modern, fruit-driven wines from the hills
outside Verona. Working with leading New Zealand winemaker,
Matt Thomson, our aim was to work with growers (rather than buy
bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at
this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking
later) and then, using Matt's expertise, preserve these flavours in
the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential
inherent in Veronese viniculture.
The vineyards are situated at 100-400 metres above sea level in
the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley and are
south/south-east facing. Cool breezes blow down the valley from
the foothills of the Dolomites, which moderate the climate,
enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain
their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky
so the vines are put under stress and produce superior quality fruit.
The vines are 20-30 years old on average and are trained using
both the traditional Pergola Veronese and Guyot system.
This wine was made using a modern variation of the traditional
Veronese practice known as "ripasso". Traditionally, the young
wine was re-fermented on the skins of the Amarone grapes once
they had finished fermenting in March. The modern approach is to
ferment the young wine together with dried grapes in the January
following the vintage, giving the wine more body and depth.
Following fermentation, this Ripasso was aged for 12 months in oak
prior to bottling. This blend of modern and traditional winemaking
produces a wine with a combination of freshness, structure and
depth that is rare among Ripasso wines.
Ruby red in colour, this Ripasso opens with a concentrated nose
full of aromas of red fruits and dried cherries. Full-bodied on the
palate, it shows lovely balance between an opulent cherry-pie
character and supple structure. The finish is long with a
mouthwatering bitter-cherry twist.