Brilliant clear ruby out to thin rust at the edges. Big peat and earth in the nose, gorgeous black cherry maraschino dust with curious round barnyard nuances never getting in the way of all that lollipop fruit. Nutmeg and cinnamon rule here, a deep spice-cake with cream-cheese frosting piquantness and green-tea solemnity.
I have tasted four different vintages of this wine today–three very fresh and one quite old. They all suffer from the sort of thing that will make hipster-somm smile and fat California wine-lover cringe: crystal-clear bright fruit, an edgy minerality and earthiness raspy and grating, and the kind of low-alcohol and bracing acidity only Cru Beaujolias, the Liore Valley, cool-climate reds, and various volcanic island wines can duplicate. Considering the prices, it is a direction almost EVERYONE in wine I know state-side is clamoring for and is becoming more and more prevalent in shops and on lists.
In the mouth, more of the same. And I picked this wine specifically off a local shop-shelf JUST because it is a definite place-mark for a huge number of the wines I have been exposed to this week in Bardolino. Cool, calm fruitiness on entry, a middle area populated with ridiculous mineral, crushed stone, sea-water, and cellar-floor sex, all in a package thin and streamlined and crazily un-pretentious. But to call them *meager* would be an error. They pack a wallop. You CAN’T drink these and be bored. They stun you with juicy fruit, counter with teeth-wiping acidity alongside curvaceous red-wine body, then morph drastically into the sort of mineral-driven structure you crave. Spicy to the point of being hot, but at 12-5 or MAYBE 13-oh across-the-board, heat is never a factor. They are just SOOOO sharp and grippy.
The group driving this appellation toward the identity they want the world to see in their wines are doing everything right: limiting macerations and oak and extractions to really let typicity shine though. I can’t wait for these wines to become more available in the US. You literally almost CAN’T go wrong with them. They are EXACTLY what everyone wants and needs.
2017 VILLABELLA ‘Morlongo’ Classico Corvina Bardolino DOC Italy 13.0