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The Wine of Veneto

Wines of VenetoThe Veneto’s most well-known still white wine is Soave, a designation that has been compromised through both viticultural and vinification methods and the enlargement of the zone. While it was originally a blend of Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave (both aromatic varieties), changes in DOC regulations permitted the introduction of a more mundane strain of Trebbiano (Toscano) as well as Chardonnay, thereby precipitating the widespread production of a fairly vapid wine. However, Soave bottlings that pair Garganega with Trebbiano di Soave tend to offer a substantive flavor profile. While Soave is not the only white DOC, the others, Lugana and Gambellara, primarily involve the same varietals. The former (which is shared with Lombardia), privileges Trebbiano di Soave, and some bottlings realize a substantive aromatic presence. With respect to the latter, Garganega exercises its dominance, as it represents a minimum of 80% of the blend. The category also includes several varietally labeled wines that are fairly simple in character. Valpolicella is, in many respects, the red counterpart to Soave, as its image has suffered from mass production.

However, unlike Soave, it operates a stylistic hierarchy: Valpolicella Classico, Valpolicella Superiore and/or Ripasso, Amarone della Valpolicella, and Recioto della Valpolicella generally comprise the grape trio of Corvina, Rondinella, and Molinara. Valpolicella Classico (Classico denoting a wine made in the inner, superior Valpolicella zone) is the simplest expression of the Valpolicella quartet. At the Superiore level, Valpolicella must achieve higher alcohol content, receive longer aging, and display more body and structure than the simple Valpolicella. To realize these qualities, many Superiore are treated via one of two techniques: “governo alla Toscana” or ripasso. Under the “governo alla Toscana” method, producers blend the finished Valpolicella with a small percentage of Amarone remaining from a previous batch. Others employ the ripasso method, enriching the Valpolicella wine through direct contact with (or passing through) the Amarone’s lees.
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Fantinel Prosecco Brut Extra Dry NV 750ml
Fantinel Prosecco Brut Extra Dry NV 750ml
Price: $16.00

This velvety, food-friend Prosecco matches elegant minerality and delicate tropical fruits with delightful floral aromas in a fresh, charming sparkler. Straw yellow in color, this classic Prosecco offers persistent perlage, bright acidity, and chalky minerals. Deriving from estate- grown Prosecco grapes (a varietal previously called Glera), this Prosecco is vinified in the in the charmat, or tank method, in which the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in bulk tanks and is bottled under pressure. This versatile, delicious Prosecco can serve as an aperitif, a complement to food, or a palate cleanser, making it one of IWM’s favorite go-to sparkling wines.
Maculan Pino e Toi 2017 750ml
Maculan Pino e Toi 2017 750ml
Price: $18.99

Crisp orchard fruits and succulent stone fruits dance with crushed river rocks, white flowers, and a touch of spice in this zesty, zippy, and utterly quaffable ’17 Pino e Toi. Aromatic and energetic, this wine shimmers on the palate, powering to a mouth-watering mineral finish that’s touched with notes of tropical fruits. Ideal for appetizers, light lunches, and seafood dishes, this white is a palate-pleasing, wallet-friendly hit.  A blend of 60% Tai (the local name for Friulano), 25% Pinot Bianco, and 15% Pinot Grigio grown in limestone-rich, volcanic soils, grapes ferment separately in stainless steel, and the various component wines age for four months in stainless steel before assembling the blend and bottling.
Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico 2017 750ml
Brigaldara Valpolicella Classico 2017 750ml
Price: $18.99

Rustic, elegant and food-friendly, this ’17 Valpolicella Classico explodes from the glass with a shower of dark fruits, bright cherries, warm leather, violet petals, and spicy cigar wrapper. This detailed wine unfolds on the palate to reveal a seamless balance of sweet fruits, chewy tannins, and electric acidity--it’s a juicy delight that calls for meals of hard cheeses, grilled meats, tomato-based pastas, or pizza! A blend of 55% Corvinone, 25% Corvina, and 20%, Rondinella deriving from vines planted in the 1970s and 1980s, the wine ferments and ages in temperature-controlled stainless steel.
Fantinel Brut Rose NV 750ml
Fantinel Brut Rose NV 750ml
Price: $19.80
Currently Unavailable.

Dry yet seductive, Fantinel Brut Rosé shows a pale pink color in the glass, where it sparkles with a really nice perlage that warms the palate. A burst of acidity gives it a fresh mouth-feel and hints of berries follow in this bright, dry, refreshing yet rich Rosé sparkler. Fantinel makes this Rosé in the charmat, or tank method, in which the wine undergoes a secondary fermentation in bulk tanks and is bottled under pressure. Crafted from Pinot Nero and Chardonnay, this wine is all about charm, cherries and berries, and nicely floral aromatics. Showing just the right balance and texture with an appealing lively long finish, this rosé sparkler makes appetizers, brunch or light fare sing.
Nicolis Valpolicella Classico 2014 750ml
Nicolis Valpolicella Classico 2014 750ml
Price: $19.99
Currently Unavailable.

Seductive scents of cherries and berries dance with eucalyptus, anise, black tea, cigar wrapper, and spice--this structured yet succulent Valpolicella practically grabs you by the ears and pulls you to the glass! Dark, juicy fruit mingles with earthy, smoky notes on the palate, where they’re joined by bitter almond and a hint of burned sugar, conveyed in a velvety palate that’s spiked with piquant acidity. A blend of 65% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, and the remainder Molinara, this wine ferments in temperature-controlled stainless steel and ages in large barrels for a classic interpretation of Veneto terroir and traditional winemaking.
Col Vetoraz Prosecco Valdobbiadene NV 750ml
Col Vetoraz Prosecco Valdobbiadene NV 750ml
Price: $21.99

Classic, delicate, and refreshing, Col Vetoraz Prosecco urges you to pour it early and often--much as Italians do for their friends and family. Scents of ripe orchard and stone fruits lead to a dry, smooth and intense palate with subtle notes of white blossoms, citrus zest, and a touch of toasted bread; an elegant, fine perlage fills the mouth with creamy texture. Energetic and clean, Col Vetoraz Prosecco complements a wide variety of foods, making it ideal to pour with appetizers, salads, even brunch! Located in Cartizze, one of the prime areas of the Valdobbiadene region of the Veneto, Col Vetoraz grows its grapes organically at about 1,300 feet above sea level on very steep hills in vineyard sites where the Prosecco, or Glera, grape has grown since 1838. The grapes ferment in temperature-controlled stainless steel, and wine enjoys a second fermentation in tank in the “Charmat” method.
Begali Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2014 750ml
Begali Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2014 750ml
Price: $21.99
Currently Unavailable.

Fresh, complex, delicious and immediately enjoyable, this ’14 Valpolicella Ripasso layers its sweet red fruits with warm leather, loam, spices, espresso and a kiss of raisined fruits. Elegant and round, this artisanal wine is nonetheless vibrant; it’s a terrific exploration into its vintage and a great introduction to the family-run Begali estate. A Valpolicella Ripasso “passes” through the lees left from the estate’s Amarone, and this one from Begali (a blend of 65% Corvina, 30% Rondinella and the remainder other indigenous grapes) spends at least a year maturing in oak barrel, followed by time in the bottle before release.
Cima da Conegliano Prosecco Extra Dry NV 750ml
Cima da Conegliano Prosecco Extra Dry NV 750ml
Price: $22.50

Made entirely of Veneto's Glera grape, Cima da Conegliano Prosecco Extra Dry is straw-colored with aromas of green apples and a soft, long-lasting finish on the palate. With its refreshing acidity, pleasant aromatics and delicate flavors of peach and green apple, Cima da Conegliano Prosecco is an ideal sparkler for appetizers, brunches, lunches and all casual celebrations--and its reasonable price point and easy-drinking nature makes it perfect for all your upcoming celebrations, from graduations to birthdays and beyond.
Maculan Brentino 2016 750ml
Maculan Brentino 2016 750ml
Price: $23.99

Balanced, dry, and caressing, the ’16 Brentino leaps from the glass in a profusion of succulent red and blue fruits, warm spices, crushed rocks, cedar wood, and kisses of tobacco and herbs. Rich yet focused, the Brentino wraps its sweet fruits around a sturdy mineral core, while racy acidity propels it to a satisfying, food-friendly finish. A blend of 55% Merlot and 45% Cabernet Sauvignon, the grapes for this Bordeaux-style wine grow in volcanic, limestone-rich soils; after fermenting in stainless steel for about a week, the wine ages for a year in a combination of stainless steel and barrique, one-third new.
Brigaldara Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2016 750ml
Brigaldara Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore 2016 750ml
Price: $34.99

Lush red and brooding blue fruits mingle with melted chocolate, spice box, violet petals, vanilla and soil in Brigaldara’s delicious, bold ’16 Valpolicella Ripasso. The product of protocol that lets the fermenting Valpolicella juice “pass through” the estate’s Amarone grape must, this wine is surprisingly complex and elegant, layering its intense fruits with fine-grained, polished tannins and vibrant acidity--it’s a food-friendly beauty! A blend of 40% Corvina, 30% Corvinone 20% Rondinella and 10% other grape varietals, grapes ferment first in stainless steel vats, and then with the skins of the Amarone grapes for five days; then the wine ages in oak barrels.