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.
Garganega is the principal grape of Soave. 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.
2014 was one of the trickiest vintages seen since 1984. It was a mild and wet winter followed by a wet summer so expertise was required in the vineyard to maintain healthy grapes. 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. Garganega, being a late ripener, was largely unaffected by disease and benefitted from the Indian summer that arrived from about mid September onwards.
The grapes were hand harvested, destemmed, crushed and chilled on the way to the press with no sulphur addition. The juice was naturally settled and after racking, cultured yeasts were added to initiate fermentation, which took place at 12-14°C. These relatively low fermentation temperatures help preserve the fresh fruit character of the grapes. 20% of the must was fermented in large format oak to add another layer of complexity. The wine was then held in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks until bottling.
Bright, pale lemon in colour with a fresh, aromatic nose with perfumes of almond blossom and a touch of acacia. On the palate, the Garganega is lively and crisp, with a delicate honey and almond character and a clean, zesty finish with a twist of lime.
Liberty Wines customers can order this wine directly from us.