Ca la Bionda. Valpolicella Classico Superiore 'Casal Vegri'
Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC
Grapes Corvina (70%), Corvinone (20%), Rondinella (10%)
2018 - This was a cooler vintage which at the time was considered good, nothing special. It turns out that it is a very special vintage with the most remarkable purity of fresh fruit, damson and hedgerow on the nose, perhaps a touch of ripe herb. The palate is refined, with red berry, cherry and fresh bramble flavours, the emphasis is on elegance rather than intensity. A wine with the most immaculate, open, balanced ripe fruit that is unobstructed by spice or intrusive dried herb.
In many ways this is the signature wine of Ca la Bionda, it is a totally uncompromising Valpolicella made from the pick of the crop grown only in the Casal Vegri vineyard. Usually in Valpolicella the best grapes are reserved for the Amarone and the second selection for the Ripasso wines. Not so at Bionda; this is a classic single vineyard wine with an unwavering commitment to the best interpretation of the vintage possible, the style varies, the DNA does not.
Casal Vegri is an east facing slope, harnessed by ancient terraces at between one hundred and fifty and three hundred metres, the soils are rocky, sparse clay on limestone. The vineyard is farmed organically and the vines are trained using a traditional pergola system, the family has great faith in this technique which is especially successful in very hot and very wet years. The only issue is that this is a system that requires exhaustive manual labour.
The grapes are picked by hand, usually in the last week of September and then travel a short distance to the winery where they are destemmed for a temperature controlled fermentation in steel tanks. Following fermentation, ninety percent of the wine is aged in botti (3000 litre barrels) and the balance in barrique, for eighteen months.
2016: 96 points Decanter (Italy 2019)
A fine and richly textured Valpolicella, cherry and dark berry fruit with a touch of spice and dried herb on the nose. This has a lovely purity, silky tannins and immaculate balance. 13.5%
2015: Three Red Glasses (Gambero Rosso 2018)