Throughout most of winemaking history, vineyards developed where the growing conditions are the easiest vintage to vintage. Without technology, grape growing is a hard enough task without throwing in any extra degrees of difficulty. It's why even the greatest minds of the 18th and 19th centuries couldn't get the industry off the ground here in Virginia. With the vest improvements in every phase of vine development, vineyards can be planted in increasingly marginal conditions as winemakers look to be the first to find an undiscovered great terroir to mine. Even within well established growing areas like Valpolicella near Verona in Italy, there are new heights to reach. Stefano Accordini and their family started planting vineyards at increasingly higher altitudes around the mountain town of Cavalo in 1975 in an effort to exploit conditions they believed would naturally restrict the vigor and control the yields of the vines, helping to intensify the flavors, yet still provide ripe healthy fruit. In addition to their success and recognition among other wineries in Valpolicella, they have received international acclaim by winning awards in the Mondial des Vins Extremes competition, reserved for wines grown in what they call 'heroic vine growing areas'.
The basic Valpolicella Classico for most houses is their softest and most approachable bottling, but even this has a little extra edge thanks to the higher altitudes. Dark raspberry cherry tones on the nose are given some iron and cocoa tones from the cooler climate, as well as an almost Bordeaux-like dark currant fruit. The palate is quite soft on the tannins as a Valpolicella is expected to be, with only the slightest of dusty tones coming through on the finish, but still has plenty of structure thanks to the firm spine of acidity that brightens up all the flavors on the palate, even inviting a tang of blood orange and darker citrus flavors. As it opens up the fruits get a bit juicier and more generous, but always stays a step above the usual everyday bistro wine. This deserves a nice roast or other savory slow cooked 'comfort foods' to warm you on snowy weekends like the one approaching.
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!