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Alpha Zeta `C` Chardonnay

Valpolicella, Veneto

Alpha Zeta

Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines set out to produce a range of modern, fruit driven wines from the hills outside Verona...

Working with leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, our aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt’s expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.

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Vineyards

The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress which helps to produce superior quality fruit.

Vintage information

2014 was one of the trickiest vintages seen since 1984. It was a mild and wet winter, so pests and pathogens flourished. This led to lots disease pressure in the vineyards, especially as it was a wet summer. Nevertheless, wines from around Verona look good and are more aromatic than last year and lighter in body than previous vintages. In general, the whites have a higher acidity than seen in recent years so need a bit more time on their lees to fatten out.

Vinification

The grapes were hand harvested, de-stemmed, crushed and chilled on the way to the press with no addition of sulphur.  The juice was naturally settled, racked and cultured yeasts were added to initiate fermentation which took place at 12-14°C. Half the wine was fermented in oak, and one third of the blend was put through malolactic fermentation in order to add complexity.

Tasting Notes

Straw yellow and bright in the glass, this wine is aromatic and concentrated with a thread of minerality. The palate is clean, fresh and fruit driven, with a medium-bodied mouth-feel and long finish.

Vintage information

Vintage 2014
Grape varieties 100% Chardonnay
Region Valpolicella, Veneto
Winemaker Matt Thomson
Alcohol (ABV) 13%