2019 Pieropan, Soave Classico DOC “Calvarino” Veneto, Italy.
The Pieropan Calvarino Soave Classic is a distinct and beautiful with crisp detail and surprising depth, it highlights Pieropan’s commitment to quality and this wine’s unique terroir character, but it also, as I have been mentioning for a few years now, puts a spotlight on incredible rise in greatness of Italian white wines in general and in Soave in particular. At the recent Slow Wine stop in San Francisco I was impressed by the whites, even with my expectations, they were well crafted and focused efforts, made from vast array of varietals, including rarities, from Falanghina and Fiano in the South to Manzoni and Kerner in the North, there are some amazing whites available, especially from this region and the Garganega grape found in this Soave. The 2019 Pieropan Calvarino is bright and energetic with a delicate white blossom nose and stony detail, it is a light golden wine with vibrant lemon/lime, peach and a hint of green apple fruit, along with snappy herbs, almond oil, dense round leesy notes and lingering jasmine. This dry Calvarino has a nice mouth watering saline, refreshing acidity and mineral tones, but feels rich on the medium bodied and elegant palate, making it a superb meal wine with enough depth and substance to go with many cuisine choices, though it is exceptionally good with Linguini and Clam pasta, as well as a nice pairing with roast poultry. The winery goes on to suggest that this Calvarino would be a lovely aperitif wine and great as a starter for a leisurely evening meal and adds, it partners a wide range of dishes, especially vegetable quiches, fish and cheese soufflés, which all sounds good to me.

The Pieropan winery, like Inama and Prà, makes a stellar Soave and were one of the first to do single vineyard wines, like this Calvarino, up at close to 300 meters, which comes from 30 to 60 year old organic vines set on a hillside in the Classico zone on complex volcanic soils with tufaceous elements and basalt, which gives this wine its soul and terroir flavor profile. The Calvarino is made from 70% Garganega and 30% Trebbiano di Soave, which is another name for Ugni Blanc, and crafted using hand-picked fruit, usually in two harvests to select only the best and the ripest grapes. The winemaking focuses on purity with the grapes getting a gentle de-stemming and crushed with the free run juice being fermented separately at cool temps in glass-lined cement tanks, where the wine is also aged for a year with lees contact before bottling. After a further rest in bottle to mature this Calvarino is then released from the cellars at Pieropan, to allow for everything to come together and this 2019 is a harmonious and delicious white wine, it is one of the stars in Pieropan’s excellent collection, just a few notches behind their awesome La Rocca bottling and a big step up from their base Soave Classico, which is an outstanding value. The winery notes that, Calvarino, that was first bottled as a single vineyard wine in 1971, is situated in the heart of the Soave Classico zone and is a cornerstone of the Pieropan’s family vineyards, who bought this cru site back in 1901. The name, they say, was derived from ‘Little Calvary’ referring to the difficulties in working the land here and the tortuously winding path that takes you from top to bottom. The Catina Pieropan, originally founded in 1880, continues to lead the way in this region and this Calvarino is one of stars, I highly recommend this bottle and exploring Soave wines, there’s plenty to admire here and discover, the wine here is a real bargain!
($30 Est.) 93 Points, grapelive

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