Ten Wines from the Veneto

 

Over the holidays I was lucky enough to be invited to taste some Italian wines, not currently available in BC. Mireille Sauvé, of The Wine Umbrella, hosted the event where we sampled ten wines all from the Veneto region in northern Italy.

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We were greeted with an impressive Prosecco and after a bit of time to socialize, we moved on to five white wines, and then four red wines. The wines were from the following consortiums in the Veneto:

Italia Divini & Sapori – Villa Mattielli, Paladin

Veneto in un Bicchiere – Cantina di Castelnuovo

Vignaioli Veneti – Pieropan, Cantina Gorgo, Le Morette, Pra, Nardello, Valentina Cubi

 

Here are some notes on the wines I tasted:

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Company:        Paladin

Wine Name:   Bosco Del Merlo Millesimato Brut

Region:            Prosecco D.O.C.

Vintage:           2015

Pale straw in colour with medium-light intensity. Pear, apple and citrus on the nose. Good balance and lots of mousse. Pleasing fruit flavours on the palate followed by a medium finish.

 

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Company:       Gorgo

Wine Name:   San Michelin

Region:            Custoza D.O.C.

Vintage:           2015

This blend of Garganega, Cortese and Riesling spent more than 20 hours macerating on the skins, which added a lot to its aromas and flavours. Pale straw in colour with medium-light intensity. Citrus, minerality and tree fruit aromas on the nose. Good balance and mouth feel. The flavours follow the nose. A medium plus finish.

 

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Company:       Cantina Castelnuovo del Garda

Wine Name:   Ca’Vegar

Region:            Custoza D.O.C.

Vintage:           2015

Pale straw colour with a hint of copper and medium-light intensity. Pear, apple and citrus on the nose with floral undertones. Well balanced. Pleasing fruit flavours on the palate followed by a medium-plus finish.

 

 

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Made from Turbiana grapes, a first for me.

Company:        Az. Agr. Valerio Zenato

Wine Name:   Le Morette

Region:            Mandolara (single vineyard), Lugana D.O.C.

Vintage:           2015

I am sure this is the first time I have had a wine made from ‘Turbiana’ grapes and what a delightful introduction it was. Pale straw colour with medium-light intensity. Aromas of tree fruit and citrus. Good balance and structure. The flavours echo the nose followed by a medium-plus finish.

 

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Company:       Pieropan

Wine Name:   Calvarino

Region:            Soave Classico D.O.C.

Vintage:           2014

Made from 70% Garganega and 30% Trebbiano di Soave, the average age of these vines is anywhere from 30 to 60 years old. Old vines and an excellent site have resulted in a wine that is truly impressive. While all the other white wines were very good, for me, this one stood out above the others. Golden yellow in colour with medium-minus intensity. Ripe apple, citrus, elderberry and floral notes on the nose.   Very good balance and good mouth feel. Crisp, ripe and juicy on the palate followed by a medium-long finish.

 

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Company:        Nardello

Wine Name:    Meridies

Region:            Soave Classico D.O.C.

Vintage:           2015

There was a noticeable whiff of SO2 on the nose initially, which can be expected on a young wine, though it blew off upon aeration. Pale straw colour with medium-light intensity. The nose is steely, with floral, mineral and smoky notes. Good balance and straight ahead on the palate followed by a medium-plus finish.

 

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Company:       Cantina Castelnuovo del Garda

Wine Name:   Ca’Vegar

Region:            Bardolino D.O.C. Classico

Vintage:           2015

Ruby red in colour with medium-plus intensity. Pronounced red fruit on the nose including cherry and mulberry followed by some green pepper notes. Good balance with medium body. Fruit forward on the palate and followed by a medium-plus finish.

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Company:        Villa Mattielli

Wine Name:   San Giacomo

Region:            Valpolicella Ripasso D.O.C.

Vintage:           2014

This wine, made from handpicked grapes, really captured my attention. Garnet red colour with medium-deep intensity. Rich and luscious on the nose with dark ripe fruit, sweet spice and vanilla. Very well balanced. Fruit forward on the palate followed by a lingering finish. A very elegant wine. Love to have a case of this in my cellar.

 

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Company:        Pra

Wine Name:    Morandina

Region:            Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore D.O.C.

Vintage:           2014

Just over 400 cases were made of this ‘small lot’ wine. Garnet red in colour with medium-deep intensity. The nose shows aromas of red fruit, primarily cherry and raspberry along with sweet spice and vanilla undertones. Good balance with firm ripe tannins. The flavours mirror the nose along with some black pepper notes, followed by a medium-long finish.

 

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Company: Morar

Region: Amarone della Valpolicella Classico D.O.C.

Vintage: 2007

Hard to go wrong with an Amarone.   Several passes through the vineyards were required to pick the grapes when they were just right and then they were air dried for 90 days.   This wine, made from low yield organic grapes, is garnet red in colour with a tinge of brick and medium-deep intensity. Ripe, jammy red fruit on the nose. Well balanced, despite its 17 % ABV, with good mouth feel. Rich and luscious on the palate followed by a medium-long finish.

 

These are terroir-focused food wines with good structure to pair up with a wide variety of dishes. My hope is that some wine agents take notice and decide to bring these wines into BC. I can’t wait. Not only were the wines good to very good, with a couple of excellent ones, the other people who were invited were a joy. Amongst tasting the wines, we chatted about many things including wine, wine marketing, restaurants and the realities of living in the Okanagan. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable afternoon.

Grazie mille Mireille!

 

 

 

Sam The Wine Teacher

About Sam The Wine Teacher

Sam, The Wine Teacher, has been an educator, a home winemaker, a wine judge for too many years to count and is the former Guild Master of the BC Guild of Wine Judges.

He has offered wine education and appreciation courses for Pacific Breeze Winery, Capilano College, Eden West fine foods, the Richmond School District Continuing Education department, the VAWA, the BCAWA as well as for various private functions. He also trains staff and offers cellar evaluations.

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