CasalVegri is a steep, terraced hillside of rocky clay limestone; one of three single vineyards at Ca’ La Bionda, which, Alessandro says, yields fruit of such high quality, that “we make the conscious decision to use the most perfect grapes in their natural state, for this wine alone.” Which means that he never selects grapes from CasalVegri to be partially dried for the production of Recioto or Amarone. “We’ve also chosen,” he added, “not to employ the fashionable technique of ripasso for the CasalVegri, as we feel that the grapes are of such high quality that this ‘corrective’ measure would only diminish the wine.” In the glass, this wonderful Valpolicella has a saturated, dark garnet color, with flashes of ruby red at the edges. Aromas of dried amarena cherries, toasted marcona almonds, and star anise move in and out of the background, adding warm blackberry jam, dried rose petals, and ripe pomegranate as the nose evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is complex and layered, with mouth filling, dried red and black fruit flavors that echo the nose; everything seasoned with white pepper, sweet herbs, and mace, and framed by smooth, fine grained tannins. The limestone minerality and fresh fruit acidity carry the flavors through a long clean finish. Drink now–2027.
About this wine producer: Ca’ La Bionda was founded in 1902 by Pietro Castellani, Alessandro’s great grandfather, who was a passionate grape grower and winemaker. The east facing hillside vineyards extend over 29 hectares in the commune of Marano di Valpolicella, northwest of Verona, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico zone. Only traditional varieties, including Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, and Rondinella are grown (there are no international varieties), and the farming is entirely organic. Particular attention and care are given to the delicate process of drying the grapes for the production of the Amarone and the sweet Reciotto.