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Latest vintages from Pieropan: 2021 Soave Classico, 2020 Calvarino & 2019 La Rocca

Our offers of Pieropan's single-vineyard Soaves have been very popular for the last couple of years, so we were pleased to see the Calvarino chosen as a star wine of a feature on the region by Vinous.com's Italian expert, Eric Guido.  Of Soave as a whole, Guido says:  "For lovers and collectors of the world's best white wines, it’s time to welcome Soave back to your cellars".  We offer these latest vintages for each wine, with great confidence that they will make converts of you (assuming you aren't already).

The saline, mineral wines from the volcanic soils on the hills around the medieval town of Soave itself are a world away from generic Soave, made on the flat plains, where the soil can overly fertile, leading to high yields and dilute wines.  The Soave Classico DOC 'garantita' is a more reliable indicator of quality than in many classifications and within the DOC, Pieropan is both a pioneer and one of the best producers.

Their 2021 Soave Classico is a brilliant introduction to the style, although it's so good, it's almost atypical, with Guido commenting "Wait, this is an “entry-level” Soave Classico? (91 points)".  The 2020 Soave 'Calvarino' is from the 'Little Calvary' vineyard.  Aged on the lees for 12 months in concrete vats, Calvarino always has richness, roundness and tension.  Guido scores the 2020 93 points and gives it the most mouthwatering tasting notes have seen in a while, finding "...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."   All this at a little over £22 per bottle on your table!  It would make a wonderful alternative to Chablis, to pair with fish and shellfish.

The famous Rocca vineyard (pictured) is on the only outcrop of limestone in the region and produces rich wines, with intense minerality.  Aged, like Calvarino, on its lees, the differene here is the use of large old oak barrels.  The 2019 Soave 'La Rocca' is from an unusually warm, ripe vintage and James Suckling finds notes of dried pineapple, honeycomb, pecan pie, light toffee and...fresh and dried flowers flitting around the edges", awarding it an impressive 94 points

These are the perfect wines for summer, even (dare we say it!) as good as fine white burgundy.  We have just a handful of cases of the single-vineyard wines, so please let us know right away if you would like to order.

Offered in bond, available June 2022.

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 2022 Pieropan - Soave 'Calvarino' 75cl £105 per case of 6 Pieropan
Soave 'Calvarino'
2022 / / 75cl
£105 per case of 6
IB
Tasting NotesThe Calvarino vineyard is in the northwest zone of the Soave Classico area and has been owned by the Pieropan family since 1901. It takes its name, 'little Calvary,' from the steep slope and the difficulty this presents in working the vineyard. Planted with Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave, its basalt soil is typical in this part of Soave. The vines are organically farmed, aged between 30 and 60 years and planted 200 to 300 metres above sea level at a density of 3,000 vines per hectare.------"The first single-vineyard created here, in the late 18th century. More black soil than in the Soave Classico. This is very good, meshing the inherent ripeness of the vintage with a mineral-infused pungency. Green apples, quince and stone fruit. Yet the feel is linear, cool and taut, with a growing trajectory of fruit sweetness across the long, energetic finish. A pithy exclamation to close.  94 points." James Suckling, May 2023, JamesSuckling.com
WHITE 2022 Pieropan - Soave 'La Rocca' 75cl £140 per case of 6 Pieropan
Soave 'La Rocca'
2022 / / 75cl
£140 per case of 6
IB
Tasting NotesThe southwest-facing vineyard of ‘La Rocca’ takes its name from the adjacent medieval castle and fortress (‘La Rocca’) and is planted at 200-300 metres above sea level. The soils here are unique in Soave, comprising a limestone outcrop (the same soil as in Valpolicella Classico). Pieropan feels that these soils are perfect for ripening Garganega and, as a result, make ‘La Rocca’ exclusively from this variety. First released in 1978, ‘La Rocca’ was the first example of single vineyard Soave, and it has become a definitive symbol of quality and tradition in the region. Vines are spur pruned and cordon trained and 50 years old.------"The only oak-inflected cuvee at the estate. Aged in 100% used tonneaux, both French and Slavonian. Superb aromas of pistachios, peaches and dried mangoes. Broad and expansive, yet funneled into a vortex of tension by freshness that sublimates any sense of obvious power.  A wonderful expression of a warmer vintage that suits perfectly this compelling site. 96 points."  James Suckling, May 2023, JamesSuckling.com
WHITE 2023 Pieropan - Soave Classico 75cl £125 per case of 12 Pieropan
Soave Classico
2023 / / 75cl
£125 per case of 12
IB
Tasting Notes"The grapes for this wine are from hillside vineyards in the heart of the Soave Classico area. The vines, aged up to 60 years old, are planted at 100-300 metres above sea level and on west-facing sites, boasting clay-basalt soils from volcanic origin. They are trained in the Guyot system (5,200 vines per hectare) and the Pergola Veronese system (3,000 vines per hectare) and grown organically.  A pretty aromatic mix of floral, citrus, and minerality on the nose that followed through on the palate with a fresh, textual, long finish."  Producer's note------"Green apples and nettles. 10% trebbiano di Soave. This is a jittery Soave, gently mid-weighted, verdant and spicy, with the sensation that it was picked early to retain acidity. A blend of sites, all volcanic. Fermented and settled in concrete. Drink or hold. Screw cap. 88 points" jamessuckling.com

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