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The wines of Tedeschi, Valpolicella, Italy
Via Giuseppe Verdi 4/A, 37020 Piedmonte di Valpolicella, Verona
Tel: 0457701487 

The Veronese region of Valpolicella makes large volumes of forgettable plonk, but once you get into the hills, there are some lovely, unique wines being made on the better sites. Grapes like Corvina, Rondinella, Negrara, Molinaea and Rossignola, coupled with some innovative viticultural techniques (such as drying grapes before fermentation), help make personality-filled, versatile red wines in a range of styles. Tedeschi, a family owned firm, are making a solid line-up of well priced wines, with a few genuine stars, too. They're wines I've bought in the past, and that I'll probably buy again.

Valpolicella Classico Superiore Dei Nicaḷ 1997
Once the grapes are harvested they are allowed to dry for about one month in wooden cases before pressing. This wine has a nice cherryish nose with a herby edge. It is full flavoured on the palate with a dry finish and a herby, slightly bitter character that is quite appealing. Nice stuff. Very good.

Capitel San Rocco 1997 Vino di Ripasso
To make this wine the Valpolicella must of one year is refermented with Recioto and Amarone lees of another year, a traditional method called 'ripasso'. It then spends two years in oak barrels. This has a complex, full nose with a dusty/spicy character. On the palate it is complex and balanced, with a savoury, dry finish and some spice. Good stuff. Very good.

Rosso La Fabriseria 1998
The second vintage of this wine, this is an excellent effort. The gorgeously rich nose is spicy, herby and exotic, with a menthol edge. Complex, full palate with dense, sweet, spicy cherry and damson fruit. Excellent, and a bargain at the UK retail price of about £12.

Amarone Capitel Monte Olmi DOC 1997, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
From a single vineyard, the grapes are harvested in late September/early October and then dried on racks until January. During this time they lose 30-40% of their weight. This has an unusual but attractive nose of sweet fruit and herbs. The palate is dense, rich and appealing, with sweet cherry fruit, a bit of spicy herbiness and drying tannins. Very good/excellent

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 1997
Made by the same process as the Capitel Monte Olmi, but from grapes sourced from several vineyards, this wine has a bright nose with cherry fruit and medicinal notes. The full, dense palate shows sweet fruit, more medicinal notes and a dry finish. Very good+

Recioto Capitel Monte Fontana DOC 1997
This is wild stuff. An opaque purple/red colour, it has a very unusual, striking nose of sweet, licouricey fruit. The palate shows beautiful sweet cherry fruit, liquorice and dense tannins. Exotic, but with lovely balance. Excellent

Monte Tenda Soave Classico (vintage not noted: could be 1998 or 1999?)
The only white wine in the line up, but a good one. A single vineyard Soave, this has a lovely, full, rich nutty nose with a touch of grapeyness. Rich, spicy and concentrated on the palate. Lovely. Very good/excellent.

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