Clear beautiful ruby, with that tinge of youthful blue. A fat streak of grimy vegetal blasts out of the glass, one part green-briar, one part sweat and all parts herb tea and pine pitch and lots and LOTS of wet soil. Ripe plum and melon carry the fruit background, riding on a tight mineral.

One of the bottles I drug back from Bardolino after spending a week falling in love with Corvina and all things Bardolino Cru. Oh we had some Valpolicellas and Amarones too, but the focus was the light, bright versions of Bardolino, Cru, and Superiore–and of course the wonderful Chiaretto Rosé. Gorgo is down in the Sommacompagna cru and was one of the more fascinating wineries to tour, at least for me, as it offered up crazy juxtapositions at every turn. We were being hosted at the hearth in a house that felt like it was built in the 1600’s, while across the courtyard rose a modern, minimalist, architecturally-award-winning tasting salon. Taken through the bowels of the production area revealed some of the oldest, most archaic machinery, tanks, etc I have ever seen in use, a crush-pad that was basically dirt, and yet, viola: chugging along inside, their own beautiful bottling line. This winery certainly manages to balance the old and the new inside–and outside–the bottle. When we sat down to taste, I was fully expecting a more *old world* presentation–maybe some funky barnyard, brett or VA–but the wines are clean and fruit-driven: Modern in every way. And a FULL line-up across several price-points.

In the mouth, the ridiculously spicy entry waves the region’s trademark in your face for long glorious moments, a sharp incision of acid and rocky mineral swollen on all sides with cheery cherry fruit. Gorgeous balance all the way through to the finish rife with raspy tannins and yet more fruit. Green and edgy all the way through–not a drop of oak–absolute TEXTBOOK food wines, the cola/graphite finale will make your hair stand up. In a good way.

I DO so wish we had more of these in the US. They are SO inexpensive and are EXACTLY the wines us dorks and the somm-class are constantly looking for. Certified organic and extremely low-intervention, stainless steel and neutral oak, everything done to preserve and reflect the regional characteristics. Such beautiful wines. Valpolicella feels alike a boat-anchor after Bardolino.

2016 GORGO ‘Monte Maggiore’ Corvina Bardolino Superiore DOCG Veneto Italy 13.5


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