Snow still falls in Oregon. But it is February. By now, gray, miserable clouds and soul sucking rain should have ruined countless attempts to enjoy the outdoors. But no. I still freeze and have to worry about whether or not that 1980’s Honda Civic will careen into my car.
Time for a flight to sunny Italy, in my mouth.
In particular, Soave: a hilly, volcanic outcrop just northeast of Verona: probably my favorite town for Roman amphitheater Opera.
Today’s wine producer is Pieropan: an old favorite. Into their fifth generation, the Pieropans only use their own vineyards, only with native grape varieties, grown under organic certification. They bought Calvarino vineyard in 1900. Clay and tufa comprise the soil. It is so difficult to work it that the name Calvarino, Little Calvary, is what the vineyard demands.
Who wouldn’t love to leave the snow for some “difficult” vineyard work in sunny Veneto?
Vines average 45 years and hang on traditional pergolas. Two hand harvests ensure the ripest fruit. Then a year in glass-lined cement tanks allows for extended lees contact = cleanliness and richness. Let’s drink it to bring back Spring.
Pieropan, Calvarino, Soave Classico, Italy 2014 $26
The APPEARANCE looks brilliantly clear medium intense golden straw.
Intense, pin-pointed AROMAS smell of flint and chalk cracked over white peach, oodles of fresh chamomile flower, light honey, verbena, and raw almond.
The PALATE is ripe but dry with well-tailored medium plus acidity, sneaky alcohol, a medium body, and texture that seems to sparkle but sits plumply on my tongue.
Plump FLAVORS range from incisive mineral to fresh fruits: white peach, white pear, light honey, and slight kiwi cross into lemon pith and chalk on the medium plus finish.
Pieropan’s 2014 Soave Calvarino is undeniably very good (4 of 5). Even if you dislike Soave, you should try this one day: ideally in Italy, on a warm night, in a box seat in Verona. At least we can pretend.