Pieropan 'La Rocca' Soave Classico, Veneto, Italy 2014

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, now increased to 20.

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.

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.

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 mineral edge.

Makes an excellent partner to complex dishes, even with strong flavours particularly risottos such as porcini, or celery, squash and almond, salt cod and other fish including salmon, scallops and crab. Serve at 12-14°C.

Grape Variety: 100% Garganega

ABV: 13%

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