Tea in China

Dark bluish ruby. Intensely vegetal and mineralific nose explodes with ridiculous fresh fruit firmly alongside–the kind of youthfulness and verve usually reserved for Mencia or Beaujolais-Villages or Valdiguie in America. Buttery barnyard cranks out layers and layers of nutmeg and coriander, tempered solidly in an acidic base of perceived sweetness and pure balanced energy so perfectly ingrained in sweltering blackberry and cherry lollipop. Cola and bergamot vie for dusty carmelization while dirty phonebook and over-ripe orange bring up perfect cellar-floor echos.

Another Bardolino I have tasted several times over the past couple days–through several vintages. The key in my mind with these wines–and what I look for in a truly excellent example amongst a long wall of very good’s–is the way they integrate their trademark ridiculous fresh fruit and searing acidity with enough body and fullness to be balanced. So many of these wines–giant sleepers all–get 8/10ths of it right, and then you hit a full-blown winner and you know it instantly.

In the mouth, a monstrous dark berry hits hard and early, slowly transforming all the loveliness in the nose straight onto the tongue. Full and round, squelching the blistering acidity momentarily, just enough to grasp the enormity of this wine and suckle all its luxurious goodness and polished Old World charm. 90% cacao and cherry pie squirting into every pore, it charms with concentrated depth as long as it possibly can hold out against the raw screech of acid and tannin you KNOW is coming in this Alp-influenced Mediterranean darling. Brace yourself, Ethel. Because it’s coming HARD.

2018 CAVALCHINA Corvina/Rondinella 65/35 Sommacampagna Bardolino DOC Veneto Italy 12.5


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