Before the Super Tuscans there was Capo di Stato from the Veneto, one of the first Bordeaux blends made in Italy that gained international attention. Founded in the 1950’s by an Italian aristocrat named Piero Loredan (a descendent of a former Doge of Venice), Loredan Gasparini made its first vintage of Capo di Stato (Head of State) in 1964 – four years before the first commercial release of Sassicaia.
This wine is made near Treviso in the DOC Montello e Colli Asolani. You would be forgiven for head-scratching – there is little wine exported from Montello that peaks critics attention, though other parts of the Veneto are gaining visibility for Bordeaux style blends. Gasparini does deserve attention in North America, however. The soils at Loredan Gasparini as calcerous cobblestones, porphyry, granite and clay.
This is classic wine in every sense. Red dark berry fruits, pine and forest floor – this is how Bordeaux varieties should taste. In this case the blend is of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, with Cab Sauv the dominant grape. The palate provides high acidity and firm tannic structure that, while supple enough for drinking today, is obviously built for ageing. The big Italian give away is the classic bitterness to the fruit that you don’t find in France. But this could be a very good wine from Bordeaux’s classic days before the fruit got all pimped out. An impressive, delicious wine. 14% ABV.
Very Good+ to Excellent
$47 at Liner and Elsen, Portland