Valpolicella is the most famous of the red wine regions near the Italian city of Verona, deservedly so because of the high quality and the reputation of higher end wines like Amarone. Just to the West, along the banks of Lake Garda, Bardolino sits in relative anonymity by comparison, utilizing the same grapes to similar levels of excellence but mostly just selling them to the lakeside population. Every once in a while, a delicious few will escape the lake and make it over our way. From the original area of Bardolino closest to the lake (which earns it the 'Classico' designation) this is parallel to a Valpolicella Classico in that there is no use of dried grapes or pressings the way an Amarone or Ripasso, just featuring the Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes in their purest form. The biggest difference between the two regions is the higher elevation up in the mountains along the lake, giving the wines a slightly lighter body and a brighter underlying acidity. You will also tend to see less usage of oak here, especially newer barrels, so the wines tend to lean towards freshness and very natural expressions.
A deep dark cherry color in the glass, the aromas are a seductive array of red fruits with hints of tartness in the background and an almost sarsaparilla/old school root beer note that also kicks into light spices. Nothing sweetened at all here, no extracted heavy tones in the nose at all, and it extends onto the palate as well. Very soft texture with virtually no tannins, somewhat of a Beaujolais type fruit softness to the dark cherry notes and just the lightest of dustiness to the finish. This is ideal to pair with savory meat dishes that aren't fatty and don't need a robust wine to lean on, likewise a mushroom or lentil heavy vegetarian dish.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!