RECIOTO DELLA VALPOLICELLA
Recioto della Valpolicella Valpantena DOC
85% Corvina Veronese, 10% Merlot, 5% Rondinella
Bertani’s impact on Veneto wine making, particularly in Amarone production, is so considerable that ‘Bertani’ and ‘Amarone’ are nearly synonymous. Their 150+ year history is dotted with groundbreaking initiatives and royal accreditation. While respectful of their past, Bertani strives towards innovation, using progressive techniques and equipment allied with extensive experience and a deeply felt respect for tradition to provide wines of uncompromising quality.TERROIR & VINTAGE NOTES
Valpolicella is a continental climate with a strong Mediterranean influence due to the proximity of Lake Garda. In Summer, days are hot and humid and fresh and windy at night. The night weather contributes to the development of a typical peppery character in the wines from Valpolicella. Vineyard soils consist of white limestone (calcium carbonate) and red limestone soils (Iron + Manganese), which create salty (not mineral) wines.
Bertani produces Recioto with two grapes grown in the hills of the Valpantena, the same varieties used to make Amarone. We use the smallest bunches with the best exposure to the sun, then dried on the traditional “arele”, bamboo racks, for about three months. The typical notes of cherry are brought out by the unusual ageing in cherry wood barrels and eventually become a concentration of morello and sour cherry. Recioto is dense and velvety but never cloying; it leaves the palate clean with an aftertaste of walnuts that makes it unique among sweet wines: sweet, intense red with elegant oak tannins.
The vineyards are vertical-trellised, with Guyot pruning and a planting density of about 5,000 plants/ha. The hills of the Valpantena, north of Verona. The soil is calcareous-marl in the east and calcareous-clay and rich in iron in the west.
Only the healthiest bunches with the best exposure to the sun are selected for this classic dessert wine. Immediately following harvest, the grapes are partially dried on traditional straw mats called arelle for up to 150 days. The tradition of drying grapes in Valpolicella is due to the fact that because of the very cool climate, grapes would not reach maturity and proper sugar concentration to produce dry wines. If left alone, wines would only reach 9-10% alcohol content.
Fermentation initially takes place at a very low temperature (40°F) and then reaches 65°F. It is stopped before all the sugars are transformed into alcohol.
Today, because of climatic changes over the last few decades, grapes reach phenolic maturity and even a base Valpolicella can produce above 12% alcohol wines. For this reason, Valpolicella is similar today to a Beaujolais Cru. Latitude wines are between Beaujolais & Burgundy.
The wine is aged in 30-hl cherry wood casks, for about 12 months, followed by a period of at least three months of bottle maturation.
The wine has an intense ruby-red color, with a multitude of aromas on the nose: from the typical notes of plum, cherry and raspberry to hints of vanilla spice, hay and cocoa. The plush, dense palate gives way to a very spicy finish and a long aftertaste of fruits of the forest, chocolate and liquorice. It goes well with cakes and jam tarts, it is intriguing when paired with young and medium-matured cheeses with mustard candied fruit.