Pieropan Calvarino Soave Classico 2021
Pieropan Calvarino Soave Classico
Pieropan Calvarino Soave Classico is pale straw yellow in colour, with youthful hues turning golden with age. Fresh, floral aromas with elderflower, lemon and cherry. The palate is dry, well balanced and elegant, with tremendous length and finesse.
The first single-vineyard wine produced in Soave in 1971, Calvarino is the name of a steep vineyard (200 to 300 m asl) in the Classico Soave area. The 30-60 year old Garganega and Trebbiano vines are grown organically on basalt-based soils.
The Calvarino vineyard is located in the north-west zone of the Soave Classico area and has been owned by the Pieropan family since 1901. It takes its name, 'little Calvary', from the steepness of the slope and the difficulty this presents in working the vineyard. It has basalt soil that is typical in this part of Soave and is planted with Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave.
The vines are between 30 and 60 years old and are planted 200 to 300 metres above sea level, at a density of 3,000 vines per hectare. The vineyards are farmed organically.
Nino Pieropan believes that excellence derives from assiduous attention to detail 'from the moment you pick up the secateurs, to the time the cork goes into the bottle'. The results of this philosophy are evident in his immaculate winery, carefully tended vineyards and outstanding wines.
The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1860s. Indeed, they were the first producer to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label, in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970, and was the first to make a single vineyard wine, Calvarino, in 1971.
In 1999, the Pieropan family bought a property in Cellore d'Illasi, in the Valpolicella production area and planted it with vines. Nino's two sons, Andrea and Dario, now work with him and his wife, Teresita, in running the estate. After almost 80 years of bottling Soave Classico, Nino reluctantly abandoned the Classico appellation from 2008, believing it was time to move to a stelvin closure to protect the aromatic characters of his wine.
Nino Pieropan attaches enormous importance to the quality of fruit produced in the estate's 30-hectares of vineyards, which are situated in the heart of the Soave Classico zone, just to the east of Verona. After taking over the estate, he acquired crus such as La Rocca, Pigno, Palestrello and La Santa to add to Calvarino, which was bought by his grandfather in 1901. The vineyards are planted primarily with Garganega and Trebbiano di Soave.
Nino's meticulous vineyard husbandry is innovative for the region and includes spur spruning, crop thinning and the use of organic fertilizers.
The Garganega gives structure and acidity to the wines; the Trebbiano di Soave gives perfume and richness of flavour. There are usually at least two passes through the vineyard to ensure the grapes are picked at the best possible stage of ripeness.
The Trebbiano di Soave grapes were picked in mid-September and the Garganega in October. The grapes were destemmed and crushed, the free-run juice was fermented at controlled temperatures of 16 -18°C. Calvarino was not aged in oak but remained on its fine lees in glass-lined cement tanks for a year, adding complexity and depth to the final wine. It remained in bottle for a few months before release.