Three Glasses Over Veneto
Nearly 200 wine producers arrived in NYC for the 2019 tour of Italian winemakers, Tre Bicchieri, presented by Gambero Rosso.
“Tre Bicchiere” means three glasses. It is the highest rating awarded by Gambero Rosso in Vini d’Italia its guide of Italian wines.
We have covered this event a number of times, and it is one of the largest, if not the largest, tastings of Italian wines in the United States, and features nearly every region in the country.
Since large walk-around tastings can be very overwhelming as you’re facing a seemingly endless number of different selections, we always try to focus on one region or style of wine.
For example, at the 2016 tour of Italian Winemakers we focused on the Lombardy region and sparkling wine (see our story)
This year, at the 2019 Tre Bicchieri, we focused on the still wines of Veneto.
An Important Wine Region:
Venito is one of the largest wine producing regions of Italy, with a varied terroir that runs between alpine and warm dry semi-arid in character.
Probably most well-known Veneto wine sold in America is Prosecco; however, the region also produces many classic still wines including Valpolicella, Amarone, and Soave.
The major red wine from the region is Valpolicella which is made predominantly from three grape varieties: Corvina Veronese, Rondinella, and Molinara.
There are many styles of Valpolicella including nouveau table wines, to full-bodied red wines, to sparkling spumante. Among the ones we samples were:
Allegrini Volpolicella (2017: $17) This is a beet red wine with a nose featuring licorice, cocoa and red fruits. Super fruity with sour cheery and a spicy finish.
Monte del Fra Valpolicella Ripasso (2016: $16) Dark red in color with a laundromat nose, the wine was beautifully made in a modern style. Sugarplum and cherry up front gave way to a balanced finish.
One version of Valpolicella is known as Amarone della Valpolicella. This is a rich red wine made from partially dried grapes of the same varietals as Valpolicella. The term Amarone means Bitter but these wines are actually quite fruity.
At Tre Bicchieri, we sampled:
Monte del Fra Amarone della Valpolicella (2013: $39) Brownish red in color with a red fruity and cherry nose, the wine was super fruity redolent with red fruits.
Allegrini Amarone della Valpolicella (2014: $65) This is a Tre Bicchieri (3 glasses) wine. Dark red in color with cocoa on the nose, the wine is super solid with vanillas, cocoa and a very long finish.
Otella Amarone della Vaopolicella Ripa della Volta (2015: $37) Light brownish red, the wine had a berry and red fruit nose, with great structure and a mineral, peppery finish.
East of Valpolicella is the Soave region. Here, Garganega and Trebbiano grapes are turned into the famous white wine.
Soave is similar in taste profile to Pinot Grigio but with distinctive almond notes. This is the main white wine produced in Veneto but we decided to sample different whites from throughout the Veneto region including;
Monte del Fra Custoza (2016: $12) This best buy Tre Bicchieri wine is a white blend of many Veneto grape varietals. It is greenish yellow in color with a spicy nose featuring allspice and ginger. On the palate, the wine was dry and sweetly citrus.
An excellent wine to pair with fish. Italo Cescon Madre Veneto IGT, Italy (2016: $29) This Tre Bicchieri wine is made with 100 percent Manzoni Bianco grapes. It is an organic wine with a golden yellow color, and a nose featuring tropical fruits. The wine is beautifully subtle with nice pear notes.
Roberto Anselmi Capitel Croce (2017: $18) Made from Garganega grapes, this Tre Bicchieri wine has a sparkling gold color and a nose featuring white flowers (and the rubbery notes they can bring). The wine was sweet with a dry finish and a lot of tropical notes.
Roeno Riesling Renano Collezione di Familglia (2013: $28) Veneto is a large and diverse region, and Riesling grows well in the northern areas near the Austrian border. This wine is light gold in color. The (somewhat gasoline-like) nose is nothing like the wine, which is floral and fruity and is an excellent dry Riesling, particularly at the price.
More than Just Prosecco!
Veneto is much more than just Prosecco, and any good cellar should stock a range of still wines from the region. For more information on Tre Biccieri and Gambero Rosso International visit http://gamberorosso.us/