The Rock

Been drinkin some heavy stuff lately, and switched it back to effervescent and lovely. NOT to say Bardolino is *light*–far from it. And several other young, fresh reds pack the kind of concentrated wallop in a thin, transparent body: Cru Bojo, some Chinons, multiple Sicilians, carbonic Pinot and new-world Valdigue–to name just a few. But Corvina manages an almost Aglianico or Grenache seriousness to combat the assumed frivolousness. I love this grape, and modern alignments within the producing community–specifically the Bardolino Cru classifications of terroir within the DOC–guarantee careful consideration as they continually over-rule classic pigeon-holing of the region as light, uncomplicated, mass-produced wines. I find the Cru versions ridiculously complex in their purity and focus.

Clear pinkish garnet wide-out to the rim save for the puddle of translucent light ruby at deep center. I’ve seen ROSÉ darker than this! Roiling in earthy vegetal mustiness, a grimy red plum and ripe strawberry kissing toasty black fruit along overgrown back-tracks of briar and bruised floral. It still maintains poignant deep-red elegance and an over-whelming depth of fruit concentration despite the rose-colored glasses.

The bitter wall hitting your mouth erases all delusions of watery cheerfulness. Gunpowder and graphite claw at pithy deep cherry and grapefruit acidic ache in a spell-casting wash of serious red vivre. Early tannin collides with chalky, sweet-tinged rasp, plumping ripe pomegranate into a position of delicate honor. Weedy grip never takes a breath, the whole package balanced to perfection while loaded with innuendo.

You can’t NOT like this wine. This is wine-geek PARADISE. Everything somm craves, natural-wine dork preaches and those of us sick of sappy, sweet, oak-ridden bling-bro syrups constantly garnering the headlines. These ARE coming gradually to the US, and we welcome it with open arms. FIND SOME.

2020 POGGIO DELLE GRAZIE Corvina/Rondinella 90/10 La Rocca Bardolino Veneto Italy 13.0

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