A couple of weeks ago I was standing in sub–zero temperatures in a beautiful vineyard in the hills of the Val di Mezanne pondering wine and the traditions that embrace it.
Tradition pulses like songlines through these hills that make up the Valpolicella wine region. Famous wine styles abound – Valpolicella, Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto. The grape varieties may (or may not) sound unfamiliar, but what is familiar is the comforting effect of these traditional wine styles.
High up in the hills of the Val di Mezzane, Marinella Camerani and family at Corte Sant’Alda are doing wonderful things. The Cá Fiui Valpolicella D.O.C. stands out for its value for money, drinkability and delicious flavour profile. It’s a blend of four traditional varieties – Corvina (40 per cent), Corvinone (40 per cent), Rondinella (15 per cent) and Molinara (five per cent) harvested from four of the estate’s younger vineyards.
Deep red in the glass with beautifully detailed aromas of cherry, raspberry and light plum characters. There are hints of purple flowers, violets and the like, along with wafts of light Amaro herbs, leather, spice and licorice.
In the mouth, it is smooth and silky, again with cherry and raspberry characters coming to the fore. Laden with notes of spice, leather, amaro herbs it paints an elegant, savoury scene on the palate. It’s vibrant and vinous showing great restraint and balance, ripe sandy tannin and a lovely, gentle exit of ripe fruit and spice.
One thing that the Italians get is bitterness. They walk that knife–edge of herbal notes and fruit sweetness with confidence and a deep understanding of all things savoury and tonic. Pretty much the ideal pasta/pizza wine and a great drink.
CORTE SANT’ALDA 2015 Ca’Fiui Valpolicella D.O.C.