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Latest vintages from Pieropan: Soave Classico, Calvarino & La Rocca

Our offer of Pieropan's single-vineyard Soave's last year was a great success and we have just managed to source allocations of the current 2019 releases, both scoring 94 points from James Suckling, alongside the benchmark 2020 Soave Classico.  

These mineral, saline wines from the volcanic soils on the hills around the medieval town of Soave are a world away from generic Soave, made on the flat plains, where the soil is overly fertile, leading to high yields and dilute wines.  The Soave Classico DOC is a more reliable indicator of quality than many classifications and within this area, Pieropan is a pioneer, with the 2020 Classico being a brilliant benchmark for the region. 

The Calvarino (or 'Little Calvary' vineyard produces wines with richness and roundness, but still manages to retain tension, with the wines aged on their lees for 12 months in concrete vats.  Wines from the Rocca vineyard (pictured, at the foot of La Rocca Castle) possess a pronounced minerality and spend a similar time on lees, but in larger, old oak barrels. 

Both single vineyard wines - particularly La Rocca - will age for up to a decade, acquiring a honeyed complexity, but we think they show best around two years after the vintage, making them perfect to enjoy this autumn.

Pieropan, Soave

Producer Profile

Pieropan, Soave

The Pieropan family have been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s and were the first to bottle wine under this name.  In the 1970s, Leonildo Pieropan tasked himself with what seemed an unlikely challenge at the time, to make one of Italy's finest white wines using a local grape variety, the native Garganega, rather than using 'noble' varieties like Chardonnay or Sauvignon.   He purchased the 'Calvarino' ('Little Calvary') vineyard in 1971, the name reflecting the steep, rocky volcanic soils, at 200-300m elevation.  Extremely hard to work, they also produce wonderful, age-worthy wines.  The limestone-rich La Rocca vineyard followed, dramatically set at the foot of the medieval La Rocca castle which dominates the town. 

Today, the estate is run by Leonildo's sons, Andrea and DarioCalvarino is aged on its lees for 12 months in concrete vats, whereas La Rocca spends a similar time on lees in larger old oak barrels.  Calvarino has richness and roundness but still manages to retain a tension about it, whereas La Rocca is all about focused minerality.  Both wines - particularly La Rocca - will age for around a decade, acquiring a honeyed complexity.  The Soave Classico is a benchmark for the region.

The short film below has some beautiful shots of vineyards and La Rocca castle (although the drone footage is a bit terrifying!):

WHITE 2019 2 cases Pieropan - Soave 'La Rocca' 75cl £130 per case of 6 Pieropan
Soave 'La Rocca'
2019 / 2 cases / 75cl
£130 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"Very ripe Soave here with aromas of dried pineapple, honeycomb, pecan pie, light toffee and a wealth of fresh and dried flowers flitting around the edges. Medium-to full-bodied with a lovely, long palate of fruit syrup and caramel. Seamless, tasty and long. From organically grown grapes. Drink or hold. 94 points." James Suckling
WHITE 2020 2 cases Pieropan - Soave 'Calvarino' 75cl £99 per case of 6 Pieropan
Soave 'Calvarino'
2020 / 2 cases / 75cl
£99 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"So spicy, yet also rich, the 2020 Soave Classico Calvarino impresses with an alluring mix of ground ginger, lime zest, minty-basil and wet stone. It envelopes the palate in silky textures while also bombarding it with salty mineral tones and a sour twang of green apple. While supremely elegant, the 2020 is also full of nervous energy, as it finishes long with tropical floral nuances and a bitter tug of lemon rinds. Readers can certainly enjoy the Calvarino today, yet it needs some time to come fully into focus. 93 points." (EG), Apr 2022
WHITE 2021 5 cases Pieropan - Soave Classico 75cl £125 per case of 12 Pieropan
Soave Classico
2021 / 5 cases / 75cl
£125 per case of 12
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Soave Classico lifts from the glass with an intense burst of sour citrus, crushed rocks, sea spray and sour melon. Its medium-weight textures wash across the palate with prominence, nicely contrasted by a reverberation of sweet and sour green citrus and zesty acidity. Granny Smith apples and exotic inner florals cascade throughout the finale, as the 2021 tapers off with unexpected length. Wait, this is an “entry-level” Soave Classico? Bravo. 91 points." (EG), Apr 2022

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