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.
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 helping to produce superior quality fruit.
After a fresh start to the growing season in June and July, August and September saw record-breaking temperatures throughout Italy with the north of the country experiencing the hottest temperatures since 1800. This was accompanied by a severe lack of rain which resulted in clean, healthy fruit that was concentrated and ripe. In the Veneto, harvest began approximately 7 days earlier than normal and yields were down 5% on 2010.
The grapes were hand harvested, de-stemmed and crushed and pumped to stainless steel tanks purpose built for fermenting red wine. 25% of the juice was drained from the tank in order to increase the ratio of skins to juice, which in turn resulted in a wine with greater colour and flavour. The wine was pumped over automatically every hour in the early stages to increase extraction further. The wine was left in contact with the skins for seven days, and fermentation took place at up to 30°C. Malolactic fermentation took place in large oak, in which the wine was aged for a further six months prior to bottling. As a great deal of effort went into growing and ripening the grapes used to make this wine, the wine was not subject to severe treatments or filtration that ensure stability but strip flavour, colour and character. As a result, it may throw a light but harmless natural deposit in bottle.
Ruby red colour with a youthful rim and perfumes of ripe, fresh cherries and red berries. Nicely balanced and juicy on the palate, with a supple structure and attractive lively finish.
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.