With the ever-present shutdowns over the COVID-19, we haven’t been hearing a lot from the world of wine; however, your intrepid wine columnist recently received a sampling of three very nice wines from the Veneto Region of Italy to share with advice sisters readers.
Most closely associated with its sparkling Prosecco, Veneto is home to a number of different varietals and produces some excellent values all across the spectrum. Located in the area surrounding Venice, Veneto contains 28 DOCs and 14 DOCGs.
Veneto is the largest wine-producing region in all of Italy. Hence, it is also the largest DOC producer.
The wines that we sampled were all from the Zenato Winery. Founded in 1960, Zenato is a second-generation family winery producing wines from the Lugana DOC to the west, and from the Valpolicella region, a hilly area just east of Lake Garda.
Zenato’s wines are distributed throughout the United States by Winebow.
Sampling Zenato Wine:
We sampled three wines that reflected just a part of Zenato’s wide spectrum of 20 or so bottlings which range from light fruity Lugana’s to a grappa and an Amarone.
Lugana di San Benedeto (2018: $20). This white wine is from the Lugana DOC. It is crafted from 100 percent Trebbiano, or as it is known in the region, Turbiana. Crisp golden yellow in color, the nose was fruity with apple, pineapple and, jackfruit.
The palette was crisp with good acid and a long fruity finish featuring apple pineapple, and some peach. As a result,
I suggest pairing this one with the regional foods including antipasto, cured meats, cheese and freshwater fish like trout.
Also, the Lugana region is quite small and production is limited. Therefore this $20 a bottle is a bargain.
Alanera Rosso Veronese:
Alanera Rosso Veronese (2016: $20) is made from a mix of red grapes most notably Corvina and Roneinella.
This dark ruby-colored wine had a nose of plum, blackberry and some tobacco notes.
However, on the palate the tannic structure was noticeable up front, with raspberry and some spicy notes on the finish.
This wine could probably use a couple of additional years in the bottle for it to reach its peak.
Half of the grapes used to produce the wine are dried for 45-60 days. This “appassimento” method is common with red wines from Veneto.
You might like to try this wine with regional dishes such as cured meats, fish, or even lighter meat dishes.
Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore:
Ripassa Valpolicella Superiore (2015: $30). This wine is perfect for a romantic evenings’ cocktail hour.
It’s a Valpolicella DOC blend, with 85 percent Corvina and 10 percent Rondinella. These grapes have gone through the appassimento drying.
Winemakers create Ripassa by refermenting (ripassa) the grapes after passing them over the skins left from the first fermentation, giving the wine a higher alcohol content, deeper color, and rich flavor and aroma.
The rich dark garnet color backs up a super-fruity nose with black cherry, blackberry, pepper and some strawberry.
On the palate the wine was super smooth. Besides that, it was berry up front and peppery on the finish. It will pair well with steak, game or tomato-based pasta.
In Summary, Zenato Is GRAPE!
It was a pleasure to try Zenato’s wines. With the wide range of wines and reasonable price points, Zenato in particular are what you want to be on the lookout for in your favorite wine store.