*** Silver Medal at Sommelier Wine Awards 2016 ***
Country: Italy Region: Veneto
Varietal: Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara
Vintage: 2011 Colour: Red Style: Dry
Producer: Franco Allegrini
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, but the estate in its current form was founded by Giovanni Allegrini. When he died in 1983, it passed to his three children, who ran it together until Walter's death in July 2003. Franco now looks after the vineyards and is the winemaker, and Marilisa is director of marketing.
The Allegrini family's southeast facing vineyards are located in the Valpolicella Classico hills at 180-280 metres above sea level. The varied soils are mostly chalky, clayey and well-drained. The older vines are 30 years old on average, pergola trentina trained, with about 3,000 vines per hectare. Newer vines are single Guyot trained with about 5,000 vines per hectare.
2011 was one of the most promising vintages in recent years, with intensely aromatic wines as a result of the diurnal temperature differences. Conditions during the growing season were excellent, with ideal day and night time temperatures right up to 16th August when a heat wave struck. Two weeks of heat meant that some of the more exposed grapes were damaged and had to be removed. When the rain fell at the end of the heatwave, the vines recovered some of their vigour and picking began at the beginning of September. The resulting volumes were 10% lower than usual but the wines are ripe, with good levels of dry extract and a wide range of intense perfumes.
The grapes were dried at 'Terre di Fumane', a state of the art drying centre with controlled temperature and humidity. 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.
This is a true classic of the appellation, a wine that embraces tradition and a sense of place. The wine has an imposing structure and depth, as much in its aromas of mature fruit and spices, as on the palate, where alcohol is sustained by balanced acidity and refined tannins.
Food Matches: Venison / Lamb / Risottos