Verona, Veneto, Italy
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. This has resulted in wines that offer great value, quality, balance and typicity.
The whites are excellent, none more so than the single-vineyard 'Terrapieno' Pinot Grigio, a fabulous example of its style. The unoaked Soave is dry, scented and delicious, while the Chardonnay is melony and impressive. It is often overlooked, but it offers outstanding value. The Pinot Grigio, made solely from grapes grown on hillside vineyards in the Alpone valley, is balanced and quaffable, with a lovely pear and bread crust character on the nose and palate. The reds are equally impressive. The Valpolicella has bright, black cherry fruit and velvety tannins, while the Ripasso is silky and scented. The Amarone is the one of the best value Amarones on the market.