Category Archives: Valpolicella Ripasso

Giusti Wines of the Veneto

In my last blog I wrote about the “KIN” the Erbaluce di Caluso of  Domenico Tappero Merlo – Vignaiolo in Canavese

The other winery at the lunch and tasting at Del Posto NYC organized by Michael Roman of Romano Brands was Societa Agricola Giusti Col, better know as Giusti Wines of the Veneto. The winery was founded in 2002. The center of the operation and the main office is located in Nervesa della Battaglia, a rural village in the province of Treviso.

Valentino

At lunch I was sitting next to Valentino Radaelli the Junior Export Manager.   He is a very knowledge and interesting young man. We not only discussed the Giusti wines but Italian wine in general and it was a pleasure speaking with him.

Prosecco DOC NV “Rosalia”  NV made from 100% Glera grapes from the “Rosalia” estate. The soil is of medium texture and the training system is sylvoz.  There are 3,550 to 4,000 plants per hectare. Fermentation takes place without the skins. Primary fermentation is with selected yeasts at a controlled temperature and secondary fermentation is at a low temperature in pressurized tanks. This is a fruity Prosecco with ripe fruit aromas and flavors and more than a touch of  sweetness.

Asolo Prosecco Superiore ”Extra Dry” NV DOCG 100% Glera grapes. The soil is red clayey and the training system is sylvoz and guyot. There are 3,500 to 4,500 vines per hectare. Fermentation is off the skins. The primary fermentation takes place with selected yeasts at a controlled temperature and the secondary fermentation is at a low temperature in pressurized tanks. This Prosecco has hints of apple, floral notes and a touch of lemon.

I asked Valentino if the Rosalia had more residual sugar than the Asolo. He said no, they were both extra dry but the grapes for the Rosalia were grown on the plain (the lowlands of the Piave Basin) while the grapes for the Asolo were grown on the hillside.

Extra Dry Prosecco can have between 12% and 17% residual sugar and my guess is that because the Rosalia comes from grapes grown on the plain it was closer to 17%  making it taste “sweeter.” The residual sugar for both is 15 g/l plus or minus 2. So the Rosalia would be plus 2=17 g/l and the Asolo would be -2 or 13.g/l accounting for the difference in taste. The Asolo would go better with food while the Rosalia would work by itself or with dessert.

Giusti owns almost 25% of the land in the designated Prosecco DOCG zone.

Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie DOC 2017 “Longheri” 100% Pinot Grigio from vineyards located in the Montello and Asolo hills and specifically from the vineyard Longheri which is part of the Rolando estate. Medium mixed soil. There are 4,000 to 4,500 vines per hectare and the training system is sylvoz and guyot. Fermentation is off the skins with selected yeasts at a controlled temperature. After fermentation the wine is kept in contact with the yeast for a long period and periodically stirred until it is bottled. This is a fruity wine with hints of pear and a touch of apple.

The wine has nice citrus aromas and flavors with hints of pear and a touch of banana.

Chardonnay Delle Venezie IGT 2017 “Dei Carni” 100% Chardonnay from the Dei Carni vineyard which is part of the Rolando estate. Vine training and fermentation like the Pinot Grigio. This is fruity and flowery with citrus notes.

Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiori 2016 DOC made from Corvina Veronese, Corvinone and Rondinella. The production zone is the hilly area of Valploicella at 100 to 150 meters. The soil is calcareous and volcanic and there are about 4,000 vines per hectare. The vines are trained by the Pergola Veronese system. The wine is aged in oak casks for about 12 months.

I asked Valentino if they dried the grapes for the Ripasso as many producers now do. He said no and then explained the process. After the wine for the Amarone is removed from the stainless steel vats, what remains in the vats is the skins. The fresh Valpolicello Classico is then poured into the vats taking on additional flavor and body from the Amarone skins. This Ripasso was one of the best I ever tasted with aromas and flavors of blackberries, blueberries  and a touch of prune. It is a very good food wine.

Amarone Della Valpoicella Classico 2016 DOCG made from Corvina Veronese, Corvinone and Rondinella. The production zone is the hills of the Valoplicella Classical area at an attitude of 120 t0 200 meters. There are 4,000 vines per hectare and the training system is the Pergola Veronese. Valentino said the grapes are picked a bit late to ensure ripeness and left to dry for about 120 days. They lose 30% to 40% of their weight and become raisin-like. This produces a wine which is very concentrated with a high sugar content and 15% alcohol. The wine is aged is 500 liter French oak barrels for 24 to 28 months. This is a full-bodied wine with hints of raisins, plums, cherries, figs and a touch of molasses. The wine will age for a number of years. Unlike many amarones, this is a food friendly wine.

The Amarone was a perfect combination with the steak.

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Filed under Amarone, Giusti, Prosecco, Valpolicella Ripasso

On Amarone, Bardolino, Valpolicella & Colli Euganei

Master Class on the red wines of the Veneto conducted by Kerin O’Keef

Kerin O’Keefe

As with the Master Class on white wines that I wrote about last week,   https://charlesscicolone.wordpress.com/2017/09/21/touring-the-veneto-with-vignaioli-veneti/    Kerin felt that these reds were examples of the diversity of wines made by the member wineries of Vignaioli Veneti and in the Veneto in general. The wines were divided into two flights.

1st Fligh

La Fraghe Bardolino 2016 made from Corvina and Rondinella vinified separately. Maceration lasts for 7 to 8 days and coincides with the fermentation period. The cap is managed daily, with a délestage in the morning and a pump over in the evening. Malolactic fermentation usually occurs in the following month. The wine is aged in stainless steel tanks for 3 months.

Brigaldara Valpolicella Superiore “Case Vecie” 2015 made from 40% Corvina, 40% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella. The must is left in contact with the grapes during the whole fermentation process. Pumping over is carried out twice a day and délestage is carried out half way through the fermentation process. The wine is aged in 25HL Slavonian oak for 1 year.
In response to a question about Rondinella, Kerin said that one of the reasons it is used in the blend is because it is resistant to mold.

La Fontanina Valpolicella Valpantena Ripasso Superiore DOC 2015 made from 60% Corvina and 40% Rondinella. Parts of the grapes harvested are immediately pressed while some are placed in wooden boxes for a light drying period of 15 to 20 days. Key lots of grapes are vinified separately for fermentation: partially in stainless steel tanks while the semi-dried grapes go into wooden barrels. The wine is aged for 10 to 12 months in tank and 5 to 6 months in bottle before release.

Ottella Valpolicella Ripasso “Ripa Della Volta” 2014 made from 70% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, and 10% Oseleta, Spigamonte, Corvina and Turchetta. Fermentation in temperature controlled steel vats and the “wine” is passed over the Amarone marc for about 10 days. The wine is aged in 25 HL Slavonian oak barrels and French barriques for about 2 years. Michele Montresor, President of Vignaioli Veneti, owns this winery. 

Monte del Fra Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG “ Lena di Mezzo” 2013 made from 80% Corvina and 20% Rondinella. The grapes are picked just after they start to dry on the vine. The grapes are then dried for 90 to 120/130 days until the sugar in the grapes reaches at least 28% to 30%. Gentle crushing and destemming of the grapes, depending on the vintage, between the end of January and late February. Fermentation is in small, temperature-controlled truncated cone-shaped stainless steel vats and is started by indigenous yeasts. The fermentation is a slow one, with long maceration on the skins.

Pergola Trentina

Kerin pointed out that most producers kept the old training system, the pergola (pergola Trentina, pergola Veronese and Pergoletta, which protect the grapes from getting too much sun and has a high yield) and for new plantings used the guyot training system. A few producers still use the pergola system for all their vines. Using both systems protect the final product if the weather is too cool or too hot.

2nd Flight
Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2013 made from 45% Corvina Veronese 45% Corvinone, 5% Riondinella and 5% Oseleta. Grapes are hand harvested in September. The grapes are naturally dried for 3 to 4 months in the drying facility. The grapes lose 40% to 50% of their original weight. Destemming and soft pressing takes place in January and fermentation is in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks at 46 to 72 degrees F. Fermentation lasts for 25 days with periodic pumping over. The wine is aged in oak for 18 months, and then blended together for 7 months.

Nicolis Amarone della Valpolicella DOC Classico 2011 made from 65% Corvina, 20% Rondinella, 5% Molinara and 10% Croatina. The grapes are placed in special dry, well-aired rooms, to dry naturally, then the semi-dried grapes are softly pressed. Due to the low temperature, the fermentation process is long and slow. Maceration takes over a month. The wine is then aged in medium sized Slavonian oak casks, where it continues to ferment and where it remains for about 30 months. At least 8 months in bottle before release. Kerin said that 2011 was a very hot vintage but this wine is very well balanced.

Kerin pointed out that even though Molinara is longer mandatory in the blend it is still used by some producers.

Secondo Marco Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2011 made from 45% Corvina, 45% Corvinone and 10% Rondinella. The training method is Pergoletta. There is a long natural drying process for around 120 days and the weight loss is 50%. Prolonged pre-and post-fermentation maceration, indigenous yeast, malolactic fermentation and fining in concrete vats. Then long aging in wood and long maturation in bottle before release.

These last two wines were a pleasant surprise for the journalists and many of them said that they reminded them of old style Bordeaux.

Le Volpe Colli Euganei Rosso 24 Mesi DOC “Le Volpe” 2011 made from 60% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon and 10% Cabernet Franc. After traditional fermentation, the wine is aged in French oak barrels and casks.
Vignalta Colli Euganei Rosso DOC “Gemola” 2011 made from 70% Merlot and 30% Cabernet Franc. There is 20 days of fermentation and maceration in stainless steel tanks. Pumping over 4 times a day at a controlled temperature of 27/28 degrees C. The wine is aged in new French oak barrels for at least 12 months.

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Filed under Allegrini, Amarone, Colli Euganei Rosso, Valpolicella, Valpolicella Ripasso, Veneto, Vignaioli Veneti