Tasting Pieropan with sommelier Matthew Landry

Pieropan is a leading innovator and benchmark producer of Soave. And the lists of “firsts” that the Verona winery can lay claim to is remarkable: the first to label a wine “Soave,” the first to age a Soave wine before release, the first to make a single vineyard Soave, the first to make an Italian native-grape white wine from a single vineyard (both 1971 Calvarino), the first to make a barrel-aged Soave (1978 La Rocca)... The list goes on. For a tasting of the current vintages, we asked the sommelier and educator, and founder of Tannin Management, to lend his expertise

2020 Pieropan Calvarino Soave Classico

This youngster deserves a few more years in the bottle. When drunk now, it is a chiseled wine with laser-like precision. Given time, however, its frame will broaden and the tightly coiled orchard fruit one tastes will sweeten and soften. Drink 2023-2030.

 

2020 Pieropan La Rocca Soave Classico

La Rocca offers more immediate pleasure, owing to its fermentation and maturation in oak barrels. There is power, sure, but it’s such a wonderfully balanced wine. Taut, broad shouldered and age worthy. Drink 2022 – 2032.

 

2016 Pieropan La Rocca Soave Classico

In a great place right now and showing the first signs of tertiary flavor development. Layers of honeyed stone fruit, salty minerality and a truly mouth coating finish. 2016 was a particularly great vintage in the region. As such, this wine still has a few years before reaching its peak.

 

NV Pieropan Calvarino 5 Soave Classico

The first wine in their “Vini dell’Anima” series, this singular bottling of five separate Calvarino vintages – 2008 through 2012 – has been aged for ten years in cement tanks. The wine is complex, the color showing remarkably youthful. I recommend a splash decant for this one, as well as enjoying it at a slightly warmer temperature (14°C should do the trick).

OTHER QUALITY PRODUCERS

Prà

Owner Graziano Prà makes a range of single vineyard bottlings, however his entry-level Otto, a blend of multiple sites, is a great introduction to the charms of Soave.

Gini

Traditionalists based in the Classico area, the Gini family can date its roots in the area to the seventh century. Seek out the single-parcel bottling Salvarenza, a dense, structured wine fermented in barrel.

Photography ©Rob Lawson, Prà, Gini

We recommend

Pietro Ratti Piedmont
RATTI PUT BAROLO ON THE GLOBAL MAP AND CONTINUES TO PUSH FOR GREATNESS

His father Renato put Barolo on the map. Now Pietro Ratti is transforming the revered wine for new generations. Nargess Banks meets the vintner at his Piedmont vineyard

bernardino sani wine maker argiano
ARGIANO’S POSITIVE TWIST: THE PHILOSOPHY BEHIND THE AWARD-WINNING MONTALCINO WINERY

Listening intently to the land, fastidious soil mapping and a scholarly approach to viticulture, has earned the oldest Montalcino winery’s Brunello, red wine of the year. Nargess Banks visits the Tuscan estate to learn more

Food trucks and wine pairing Maze Row
FOOD TRUCKS AND WORLD CUISINE CAN LEAD TO DIVERSE WINE PAIRINGS

From London to Lisbon, New York to LA, food trucks have altered the culinary landscape. Katie Kelly Bell asks sommeliers how best to pair world street food with wine

Maze Row The Language of Yes
NEW RADICAL: INTERVIEW WITH RANDALL GRAHM

The pioneering vintner’s passionate belief in vin de terroir has guided his journey to craft wines of distinction and a clear expression of California’s Central Coast through The Language of Yes.