Now for something completely different…Soave, which emanates from the area around Verona, remains overlooked as a region, possibly with the sole exception of the much revered wines of Pieropan. Even with that notable exception, the image of Soave has not really recovered from being debased over the years, as it became a source of vast quantities of simple, fairly anodyne and inoffensive drinking wines. However, it doesn’t have to be that way as the dominant grape varieties are capable of producing wines of real character.
Garganega and, to a lesser extent, Trebbiano di Soave (otherwise known as Verdicchio) can produce a complex blend of fruit characters and nuances if they are cropped at reasonable rather than excessive levels. Garganega is a late ripener and a prolific yielder if its enthusiasm isn’t curtailed by pruning. The berries take on an almost golden hue when ripe and deliver a really interesting range of flavours. When growers get it right, these wines can be a real bargain as you can pick up a surprisingly complex bottle for a very reasonable price. I was really impressed by the 2020 vintage from Monte Tondo, particularly their ‘Cru’ vineyard, Casette Foscarino. Please see my note below.
A little background on the estate:
Monte Tondo was founded in 1979, and currently rests with the third generation of the Magnabosco family, Gino who is the current winemaker. The estate extends over 32 hectares which are farmed organically, with a focus on sustainability. There are essentially three vineyards within their holding, Monte Tondo (from which the estate takes its name), Monte Tenda and Monte Foscarino itself. Casette Foscarino lies to the north of the region and is based on calcareous volcanic soils. As the Garganega ripens late, they harvest in several passes to ensure perfect ripeness. The resultant wine is aged in a mixture of 225 litre barriques and 500 litre barrels for approximately six months.
Please let us know of your interest.