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Pieropan `La Rocca` Soave Classico

Soave Classico, Veneto

Leonildo Pieropan

Pieropan’s estate covers 35 hectares of vineyard situated on the stony hills of the Soave Classico zone...

The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1860s. Indeed, they were the first to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label, in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970 and was the first to make a single vineyard wine, Calvarino, in 1971. Nino’s two sons, Andrea and Dario, now work with him running the estate. In 1999, the Pieropan family bought a property in the Valpolicella production area and planted eight hectares with vines.

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Vineyards

The grapes were grown in the vineyard of `La Rocca`, which takes its name from the adjacent medieval castle and fortress ("La rocca") that dominate the town of Soave, just east of Verona. The soil in La Rocca is unique in Soave in that it is a limestone outcrop (the same soil as in Valpolicella Classico) in a sea of basalt. Because of this soil, Pieropan feel they get sufficient ripeness in the Garganega to make a wine solely from this variety.

Vintage information

Extreme weather conditions caused a dramatic reduction in yields in Soave, with producers losing 20-30% of production and on some of the hillside vineyards, up to 50%.  September was scattered with showers which interrupted harvest several times. Picking of the thick-skinned and resilient Garganega began in late September and lasted through to the end of October. Andrea said “2012 was a difficult vintage in terms of weather and final quantity of juice obtained. In terms of quality it could be considered an average vintage. Those who have worked well in the vineyards and have good sites will get better results, particularly those who worked to pick healthy grapes, which I consider a really important aspect for the ageing of the wines.”

Vinification

After gentle, whole bunch pressing, there was a short period of maceration on the skins followed by fermentation at 20ºC in stainless steel tanks and 500 litre oak casks because Pieropan feels Garganega is too delicate for fermentation in barrique. 60% of the wine then remained in 500 litre oak casks and 40% aged in 2,000 litre `botti` or barrels for one year. The wine then stayed for four months in bottle before release.

Tasting Notes

Golden yellow in the glass, with intense, concentrated perfumes that follow through to the palate. Classic La Rocca aromas of almond essence and honey lead to an elegant and beautifully balanced palate, with notes of vanilla and almond kernel, ripe apricots and exotic fruit. The long finish has a light minerally edge.

Vintage information

Vintage 2012
Grape varieties 100% Garganega
Region Soave Classico, Veneto
Winemaker Dario Pieropan
Alcohol (ABV) 13%
Acidity 5.75g/l
Residual Sugar 4g/l
Wine pH 3.2