Country: Italy Region: Veneto Vintage: 2014
Category: White Wine Color: White
"Pieropan's estate covers 46 hectares of vineyard which are situated on the stony hills of Soave Classico. The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s. Indeed, they were the first producer 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 producer in Soave to make a single vineyard wine, 'Calvarino', in 1971. Nino's two sons, Andrea and Dario, now work with him running the estate. From the 2015 vintage onwards, all Pieropan wines are organically certified.
The Soave Classico has the richness and zest that makes this such an attractive wine. It is scented and beautifully defined, with hints of honeysuckle and almond on the finish. Pieropan is, our course, most famous for their two single vineyard wines: 'Calvarino', owned by the family since 1901, is on the classic volcanic basalt of Soave Classico; while 'La Rocca' is situated on the only limestone outcrop in the zone. The former is unoaked and minerally and reminiscent of good Chablis, while the latter, fermented in 500 litre barrels, is rich and opulent. 'La Rocca' has won a Gold medal for six years at the International Wine Challenge. Such consistency is rare, but it is what we would expect from Pieropan.
While they are known for their whites, the Pieropan family is now making some of the best Valpolicella and Amarone from their 16 hectare property in the Val d'Illasi (to the west of Soave Classico) which they bought in 1999. Their Valpolicella is fresh, scented and attractive, while the Amarone is similarly elegant and perfumed. Both are getting better each year, as the vines mature and the hand in the cellar acquires greater certainty."
Winemaker: Dario Pieropan
Calvarino takes its name, 'little Calvary', from the steepness of the slope and the difficulty this presents in working the vineyard. It has the basalt soil that is classic in this part of Soave and is planted with Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave. The Garganega gives structure and acidity to the wines, the Trebbiano di Soave perfume and richness of flavour. There are usually at least two harvests to ensure the grapes are picked at the best possible stage of ripeness. The vineyards are farmed organically. The vines are between 30 and 60 years old and are planted 200 to 300m above sea level, at a density of 3000 vines per hectare.
The grapes were de-stemmed and crushed, with the free-run juice fermented at controlled temperatures between 14 and 18°C. The Calvarino was not aged in oak but remained on its lees in glass-lined cement tanks for a year. It remained in bottle at least two months before release.
Pale straw yellow, with greenish reflections when young; golden with ageing. Fresh, floral aromas with elderflower, lemon and cherry. The palate is dry, well balanced and elegant, with tremendous length and finesse.
Food Suggestion: An excellent aperitif and partners a wide range of dishes, especially vegetable quiches, delicately-flavoured fish, shellfish and cheese soufflés.
Closure: Natural Cork ABV: 12.5%