2017 Inama, Cabernet “Bradisismo” 20th Anniversary, Veneto, Italy.
The Inama Bradisismo is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, but has a healthy dose of Carmenere, which interestingly has been here for ages, even before it disappeared from the vineyards of Bordeaux, and is a lovely red wine that shows a unique terroir personality that the expected quality and polish of this outstanding winery, but with an authentic rustic charm that puts it somewhere between a left bank outer Medoc and a powerful Saumur-Champigny with dark fruit layers, spice, iron based mineral tones, subtle wood notes and an earthy loaminess. This wine needs air and especially food to full reveal its full range of flavors and inner beauty and gracefulness, which it does have in spades if you give it time, delivering dense fruit concentration with blackberries, plum, kirsch, brambly spices, creme de cassis, violets, green pepper, minty menthol, toasted cedar and anise. The full bodied and well structured Bradisismo was the first red wine produced by Soave-based Inama, in 1997 and it has always been a combination of Cabernet Sauvignon, along with an almost forgotten Bordeaux grape variety, Carmenere, now more famous in Chile, but as the winery notes, it has been grown in the Colli Berici area of the Veneto for around 150 years. This vineyard site is very unique with pre-basalt volcanic soils with loads of iron rich red dirt, it was formed by bradyseism, a geological term for uplifting of the Earth’s crust by deep lakes of magma, which occurred here millions of years ago. The Bradisismo is a superb food wine and is fabulous with grilled meats, mushroom dishes and or hard cheeses, the quality shines when paired well and this time of year really suits this fine bottling.

Now, in their third generation, the Inama winery, founded in 1967, are one of Italy’s finest small family owned wineries with an amazing array of vineyard sites in the Veneto region and well known for their stunning examples of single vineyard Soave wines. It all started In the 1960s, when Giuseppe Inama began buying up small plots on best hillsides in the heart of the Soave Classico zone, and as a result, the Inama winery has some of the most distinct wines in the region, which is seeing a renaissance these days. Inama’s two cru Soave offerings, Carbonare and Foscarino, really showcase their different terroir influences and are fantastic white wine values, it is wines like these and those of Pieropan that have brought renewed attention to this ancient region and the Garganega grape, which is just starting to show its potential in modern times. Besides these exceptional 100% Garganega offerings, Inama, as mentioned, is a one of the world’s champions of the Carmenere grape that originally came to the area by way of mercenaries from the Aquitaine prior to the forming of the Italian republic. Inama’s Riserva Oratorio di San Lorenzo is 100% Carmenere and just might be the the best pure example of Carmenere in Europe, if not the world, and one I’ve enjoyed a few times myself. For this Bradisismo, made by Stefano and Matteo Inama, the blend is close to 70% Cabernet Sauvignon and 30% Carmenere, with all organic grapes grown on the volcanic influenced red clay and limestone soils. Fermentation is done in stainless and then it is raised about 14 months using a combination of small French oak barrels and stainless steel vats, then blended up, after which it was rested a further 6 months in tank and another year in bottle before release. These latest efforts from Inama seem to raise the game, they are the best set I’ve tried from this label to date, I highly recommend discovering their full range of wines.
($32 Es.) 94 Points, grapelive

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