Valpolicella is the light, charming relative of Veneto’s appassimento red wines. Brigaldara’s Valpolicella Superiore is produced from equal parts indigenous varietals Corvina and Corvinone, with a small addition of Rondinella. Fruit comes from the winery’s southeast-facing Grezzana “Case Vecie” vineyard and smaller east-facing Grezzana vineyard, perched 450 metres above sea level. There is a significant swing between day and night temperatures here, and grapes ripen slowly and evenly. This particular environment produces fruit with generous acidity, characteristic spicy aromatics, and well-developed skin tannins.
Year after year, timing the harvest is extremely important for this wine, considering how the delicacy of its aromas and its balance depend heavily on the natural acidity of the grapes. Grapes are harvested by hand in late October and brought to the winery quickly to retain that sought-after bright acidity. After a brief cool soak, the wine is fermented in stainless steel. It sees at least one year in large Slavonian oak casks.
Valpolicella Superiore, remember, is a wine to drink every day. Its reward is true versatility at the table. Aromas are characteristic of Veneto’s valley vineyards: cherries and spice. On the palate, it is dry, velvety, and medium-bodied with silky tannins.
The 2017 vintage is a recent release that has yet to be reviewed. The 2016 vintage received the following press (largely from Italian critics):
2 Bicchieri – Gambero Rosso 2018
3 Grappoli – Bibenda 2018
“Price for Quality Award: Best Veneto Wine under €13” – Berebene 2019
AIS Guida Vitae – 3/3 Viti
“The classic Valpolicella triumvirate of Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella combine with the vintage for great juiciness and red fruit transparency. This marks a beautiful return to Valpolicella’s purity as a Superiore bottling known as Case Vecie or, the “old houses.” If old is new again I’m totally onside and all in. Drink 2018-2021.”
89 points, Michael Godel, Wine Align, Oct 2018
“There’s a subtle, smoky underpinning to the juicy mix of sun-dried cherry, mandarin orange peel and grilled herb in this bright and balanced, medium-bodied red. Drink now through 2020.”
88 points, Wine Spectator, Dec 2018