Pieropan Soave La Rocca 2009
Soave is not usually good. This is because most of the wine in the region is made using high yielding vines trained for industrial-style harvesting to make cheap white wine. Despite being the number 1 producer of wine by volume in Italy, the Veneto, where Soave is located, is also home to quite a few exciting artisanal producers. The challenge is finding them amongst the swill.
Founded in 1890, Pieropan is one of the top producers in Soave and is located in Soave Classico (the original, pre-expanded zone with better terroir). While Soave is usually made by blending Garganega with Trebbiano (and now also Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc), the La Rocca is a unique single vineyard offering of 100% Garganega (Soave’s indigenous grape), and it is unlike pretty much any other expression of that grape.
This wine is processed lightly, using hand harvesting, pneumatic pressing and cement fermentation. Pieropan avoids the use of oak in these wines as they believe it adulterates the Garganega grape.
While Pieropan is known for producing a very fresh style of wine, this 2009 La Rocca (their top wine) is actually more medium-acidity and far richer on the palate than expected. Aromas and flavours of honeyed apple, mineral, petrol, and clay make this a fascinating wine. It is somewhat sappy, but also clean and very dry. Massive, powerful, delicious and entirely unique, this unusual wine will change your perceptions of Soave. While I expect other (less hot) vintages are a bit better balanced and more distinguished, there is plenty to be excited about in this wine.
Very Good+ to Excellent
~$40 at Kits Wine