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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 2021 3 cases Pieropan - Soave 'Calvarino' 75cl £105 per case of 6 Pieropan
Soave 'Calvarino'
2021 / 3 cases / 75cl
£105 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"The 50th anniversary vintage. The first single vineyard white wine of Italy. Tuffeau and basalt. Calvarino is fermented in cement rather than the tank, as is used for the Classico. A broader sash of orchard fruits, verging toward toffee apple, mingle with ginger, orange blossom, rosemary, sage, almond and jasmine. 20-30% Trebbiano di Soave due to its affinity with volcanic soils. Saline and sappy, whilst also resinous and intense. A powerful wine that is paradoxically pixelated of detail, immensely saline and beautifully light on its feet. The sort of wine I challenge anyone not to love. Drinkable now, but best from 2025. 94 points""There's something especially spicy and enticing about the 2021 Soave Classico Calvarino. White smoke and honeyed floral aromas give way to ground ginger and crushed green apples. It's deeply textural, nearly oily, and young peach nuances swirl throughout. Residual acids keep you returning to the glass as zesty yellow citrus offsets liquid stone through the youthfully tense finale. This is an absolutely stunning performance for Calvarino, and as primary as it is today, I can't help but pour another glass. The 2021 was matured entirely in glass-lined cement tanks for one year. The 2021 Calvarino is a powerful terroir representation. 94 points" Eric Guido,
WHITE 2021 2 cases Pieropan - Soave 'La Rocca' 75cl £135 per case of 6 Pieropan
Soave 'La Rocca'
2021 / 2 cases / 75cl
£135 per case of 6
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Soave Classico La Rocca seduces, flaunting its rich bouquet of confectionary spice and sweet ook before coming further into focus with baked apple and chamomile notes. This is elegance personified, opulent at first and then decidedly savory and precise with crisp orchard fruits flowing across a saline-tinged, acidic core. The 2021 finishes with dramatic length, staining the palate in youthful concentration as zesty citrus combines with dried apricot and peach. This is an especially decedent vintage for La Rocca, yet the balance is something to behold. It was refined for one year in a mix of 2000- and 500 liter Slavonian oak barrels. 93 points" Eric Guido,"A different, fuller-weighted brood, boasting ample stone fruits, nutmeg and truffle. Savvy use of oak (tonneaux and larger format French) and extended lees ageing. A vineyard purchased in 1976, situated directly behind the town's castle. Lower altitude, with clay and limestone (rather than the more pervasive volcanics), finding effortless confluence with a winemaking approach that has long-defined this fuller-weighted, late-harvested, highly textural expression. While an outlier stylistically, there is often a fleck of botrytis, all tamarind and dried mango, that melds with the underlying tension to impart generosity and evince authority. Drinkable now, but best from 2026. 95 points"
WHITE 2022 Pieropan - Soave Classico 75cl £125 per case of 12 Pieropan
Soave Classico
2022 / / 75cl
£125 per case of 12
Tasting Notes"The 2021 Soave Classico lifts from the glass with an intense burst of your 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-evel" Soave Classico? Bravo! 91 points" Eric Guido, ------"A vibrant, medium-bodied white with aromas of lemon, green apple, pineapple, elderflowers and lime curd. Bright and creamy, with succulent ripe fruit. From organically grown grapes. Drink now. Screw cap. 92 points"

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