My Funny Valentine

It’s just shocking how yummy these Bardolinos are. I mean–let’s think about it a minute: What do you get in America for 7 or 8 dollars? Knee-high stuff at the supermarket, *maybe* waist-hi on a good sale. Wines produced with ZERO consideration of varietal-correctness or structure. Wines produced by massive corporations and conglomerates in 40-50-60,000-case quantities using a minimum of actual grape juice, hi-production, watered-down valley plonk with NO hands-on treatment and packed with chemical manipulation. We’ve all had these wines. There’s a good chance a number of eyes on this page regularly consume these wines. I like to fantasize the contrary, but I assume it’s reality. Those wines are flat-out DISGUSTING, whereas in Italy, these gorgeous Corvinas are all over for 6 or 7 euros, and the differences are stark: starting in the vineyard, and continuing through production and into the glass.

Clear, brilliant ruby; a pure pink at the rim. The nose on this one runs a deep, ripe cherry, with the trademark smokiness of peat and compost from careful fruit-handling and vinification NOT relying on maceration and largess. And yet, they are generous with their fruit: a sticky sort of maraschino sweetening the edges while intense floral and mineral punch from the core. The grainy texture is very visible in the bouquet, very akin to Loire Cab-Franc or Villages Bourgogne.

Tasting it solidifies why I feel so sorry for Americans and their cheap wine choices. Brilliant and cutting, the fruit a serious raspberry and rhubarb. Stemminess sharpens the edges far into the core, and nowhere in it are fake or cloying flavors. It is pure, natural wine, designed for easy enjoyment but FAR from what #influencer and wine-writer likes to sell with that horrible, low-brow–but enticing–word: “quaffer”. Young, they are deadly light, packed with points of light; with a few years on them, they take on a more-pinot-esque façade. The finish releases more dirt, still buoyed from above with cherry fruit addled with acid. This one cranks out a bit of tannin: a perfect pithy ending going on and on…

2019 VALETTI LUIGI Bardolino Classico DOC Corvina Rondinella 80/20 Veneto Italy 12.5

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