2018 Valpolicella Classico, Ripasso, Lena di Mezzo, Monte del Frà, Veneto, Italy

2018 Valpolicella Classico, Ripasso, Lena di Mezzo, Monte del Frà, Veneto, Italy

Product: 20181453520
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2018 Valpolicella Classico, Ripasso, Lena di Mezzo, Monte del Frà, Veneto, Italy

Description

This benchmark Valpolicella is made by the progressive, widely respected Bonomo family. It’s grown in the single-estate Lena di Mezzo in the heart of the Classico village of Fumane. This is a blend of 80% Corvina and Corvinone with 20% Rondindella. The soils are a mix of tufo, clay and limestone, which gives minerality and aromatic expression. This is a brilliant example of a traditional style being improved upon by careful, modern winemaking. The 2018 is pure and deep yet wonderfully drinkable. Charming berry freshness leads to lip-puckering cherry fruit and peppery, cranberry-like freshness. The finish is mineral and cleansing. Drink now to 2025.

Davy Zyw, Wine Buyer, Berry Bros. & Rudd (May 2021)

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About this WINE

Monte del Fra

Monte del Fra

Monte del Frà translates as ;Hill of Monks; and is located in the heart of the Bianco di Custoza DOC. It now consists of over 65 hectares of vineyards is owned and run by brothers Eligio and Claudio Bonomo. It is one of the most progressive and dynamic producers in the region and has been particularly innovative in its adoption of modern viticultural techniques.

Eligio Bonomo was the first producer in the region to retrain the traditionally 1.6m high cordon vines to lower-trained, single guyot systems. In the winery the Bonomos use thoroughly modern, clean and temperature-controlled fermentation and storage facilities in order to preserve the aromatic freshness in their wines. They produce very good-quality wines which are clean, display excellent purity of fruit and are elegant and well balanced.

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Valpolicella

Valpolicella

Valpollicella is a famous (and infamous) Venetian wine DOC north of Verona producing enormous amounts of red wine of variable quality and accounting for almost 7% of the Veneto's entire production.  

Valpolicella Classico covers the original zone, an area drastically enlarged with the granting of DOC status in 1968 (energetically encouraged by the large, local co-operatives) to encompass the fertile plains as well as the superior Lessini Mountain foothills. After opening the floodgates to gallons of poor quality Valpolicella, steps have more recently been taken to redress the quality issue, notably through the removal of Molinara from the list of permissible grape varieties. Only Corvina Veronese and Corvinone can now be used, along with a small percentage of Rondinella and Croatina.  

The wines are aged in large oak vessels or stainless-steel vats for no more than a year, thus retaining the fresh, approachable, black cherry fruit that can make them so attractive. While Valpolicella (and even Classico) may be light and relatively simple, Valpolicella Ripasso is altogether richer and more satisfying. Matured on Amarone lees, it begins like a slightly less full-bodied version of Amarone before finishing on a sweet, Recioto-like note.

Valpolicella Ripasso is an increasingly popular style of Valpolicella that is produced by passing Valpolicella ‘normale’ or Classico over the still warm Amarone grape pomace in early spring after the Amarone wine has been run off. This effects a second alcoholic fermentation in the Valpolicella and gives the resulting wine more body, texture and alcohol.

Recommended producers: Corte Sant'AldaGiuseppe Quintarelli, Allegrini, Novaia

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Corvina, Corvinone blend

Corvina, Corvinone blend

Corvina is widely grown on the Veneto shore of Lake Garda and the hills of Valpolicella to the north and north-east of Verona. Sometimes known as Corvina Veronese, it is blended with Rondinella and Molinara to produce Valpolicella and Bardolino. It can be a tricky grape to cultivate, as it ripens late and is prone to rot if affected by rains at harvest time. It is a high-yielding grape and quality is very dependent on keeping yields low.

Corvina-based red wines can range in style from a light, cherryish red to the rich, port-like Recioto and Amarone Valpolicellas. Most Valpolicella from the plains is pale and insipid, and bears little comparison with Valpolicella Classico from the hills. Some producers such as Allegrini are now producing very high quality 100% Corvina wines.

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