Valpolicella is most commonly known for its wines produced with grapes shriveled using the Appassimento method, namely — Amarone della Valpolicella, wines produced from semi-dried grapes, Valpolicella Ripasso (also known as "Baby Amarone"), wines that are "re-passed" through the skins of Amarone grapes, and Recioto della Valpolicella, sweet dessert wines produced using the same shriveled grapes that are used for Amarone.
🍇Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella
🌎 Valpolicella DOC, Northeastern Italy
⭐ Wine Enthusiast 86/100 | Vivino 3.7
Yet, Valpolicella also produces wines with made fresh grapes, such as Valpolicella Classico and Valpolicella Classico Superiore, made with the trio primarily involved in the Valpolicella DOC — Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella, all three being native Valpolicella grape varieties (see Valpolicella wine styles pyramid below). Valpolicella is located north of Verona. Its western border is Lake Garda and it is sheltered by the Lessini Mountains to the east and to the north, stretching across the hilly region at the foot of the Prealps of Verona, which in turn form part of the Eastern Alps.
This bottle of 2016 Valpolicella Classico comes from Villa San Carlo, an estate owned by the Paveso family since 1958. Today, the estate is run by father, Gianni ‘Babbo’ Pavesi, who is 89 years old, daughter Antonia and son, Andrea. The estate represents a 70-hectare unspoilt green oasis, enriched with dry-stone terraces used for vineyards occupying 22 hectares on the slopes of a hill facing the sunset, with altitudes varying between 100 and 270 metres above sea level. The estate is planted with olive groves and is surrounded by woodlands, creating superb biodiversity. The region is characterised by calcareous soil, such as “scaglia rossa” (a type of red soil), in the higher areas and the presence of “biancone” (white soil) in the area at the foot of the hills.
Although rated fairly modestly by both Wine Enthusiast and Vivino, it's a lovely fruit-forward, soft, velvety Valpolicella fresh-grape wine. It is made using the traditional vinification process with maceration in steel tanks and fining in second passage barrels. The wine is produced using native ferments, without additions, unfiltered, with minimal sulfur added. With 13.5% ABV, it comes in a bright ruby colour with plum, raspberry and cherry notes. With medium-minus tannins and medium-plus acidity, this light- to medium-bodied wine still makes an impression of being nicely balanced. Aftertaste doesn't linger for too long.