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 producer 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 Cellore d’Illasi, in the Valpolicella production area and planted the eight hectares with vines.
The grapes are 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, Nino Pieropan feels he gets sufficient ripeness in his Garganega to make a wine solely from this variety.
Andrea, Nino and Dario report a decrease in production of 25%, which they attribute to both manual thinning in the spring and dehydration of the grapes because of the long, hot dry summer and early autumn. The good levels of rainfall during the winter and early spring ensured that the vines had sufficient water to withstand the high temperatures and, together with the fact that the Pieropan vineyards are on hillside sites, giving a cooling breeze and lower night time temperatures, the grapes retained their natural acidity levels. Andrea notes that the tartaric acid in the Garganega grapes (rather than the more usual malic acid in other varieties) also helps maintain freshness and good acidity levels. The resulting wines, made from grapes in exceptionally good condition, although picked a week earlier than usual, are aromatic, rich but well balanced and similar to the 2007s. The harvest was finished by 18th October with the majority of fruit picked from mid-September.
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 2000 litre `botti` or barrels for one year. The wine then stayed for four months in bottle before release.
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.
|Region||Soave Classico, Veneto|
|Consultant Winemaker||Nino Pieropan|
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