Pieropan, 'Calvarino' Soave Classico 2018
Pieropan's estate covers 58 hectares of vineyard which are situated on the stony hills of Soave Classico. The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s. Indeed, they were the first producer 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 producer in Soave to make a single- vineyard wine, 'Calvarino', in 1971. Nino's two sons, Andrea and Dario, took over the running of the estate in 2017 when Nino fell ill and before he passed away in April 2018. From the 2015 vintage onwards, all Pieropan wines are organically certified.
The Calvarino vineyard is located in the north-west zone of the Soave Classico area and has been owned by the Pieropan family since 1901. It takes its name, 'little Calvary', from the steepness of the slope and the difficulty this presents in working the vineyard. It has basalt soil that is typical in this part of Soave and is planted with Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave. The vines are between 30 and 60 years old and are planted 200 to 300 metres above sea level, at a density of 3,000 vines per hectare. The vineyards are farmed organically.
Bud burst was delayed by 7-8 days compared to 2017, but rainfall and high temperatures in the following weeks brought forward flowering. On the whole, the grapes developed normally and in perfect condition. Yields were slightly higher than in 2017.
The Garganega gives structure and acidity to the wines; the Trebbiano di Soave gives perfume and richness of flavour. There are usually at least two passes through the vineyard to ensure the grapes are picked at the best possible stage of ripeness. The Trebbiano di Soave grapes were picked in mid-September and the Garganega in October. The grapes were destemmed and crushed, the free-run juice was fermented at controlled temperatures of 16 -18°C. Calvarino was not aged in oak but remained on its fine lees in glass-lined cement tanks for a year, adding complexity and depth to the final wine. It remained in bottle for a few months before release.
The ‘Calvarino’ is pale straw yellow in colour, with youthful hues turning golden with age. Fresh, floral aromas with elderflower, lemon and cherry. The palate is dry, well balanced and elegant, with tremendous length and finesse.