Bardolino: Chiaretto Spumante, Chiaretto, and… Bardolino

The 2012 Bardolino

The 2012 Bardolino

It would seem obvious, but how one approaches a vintage presentation has a profound influence on how one sees the wine. And for the past few years, I have approached the Bardolino presentation in steps, starting with the Bardolino Chiaretto Spumante, then Bardolino Chiaretto, and finally Bardolino tout court, which is red. And I have published the notes in sets to keep them of manageable length.

Because of this, I have managed to miss seeing the forest through the trees, as it were. Over the past five years Bardolino has undergone significant changes, all for the better as I see things. Bardolino (the red wine) is, as wine lovers know, something of a lesser relative of Valpolicella, a lighter red made from the same varietals that go into the Valpolicella blend, and during the 90s and early 2000s, when there was much more emphasis on concentration and extraction than there is now, it ran into what one might call an identity crisis: consumers wanted – or so producers thought – bigger wines, and they attempted to meet this need by bulking up their Bardolino, and also adding more substantial varietals along the lines of the Cabernets. The result was less than satisfactory; the wines were bigger but lost the grace that Bardolino was traditionally known for, and also character, as the non-traditional varietals overshadowed the more delicate nuances that Corvina and especially Rondinella can reveal in the soils around Lake Garda.

Demand collapsed, and with it prices – in 2007 grapes for making Bardolino sold for 28 Eurocents/kilo, and it’s very hard to make a living from that. Something had to be done, and Angelo Peretti, President of the Consorzio, convinced the winemakers to take a radical step: Shift their attention from Red Bardolino to Bardolino Chiaretto, the region’s rosè, which has always been a popular spring/summer/cookout wine.

Rosès don’t require weight (quite the contrary), and therefore winemakers began to eliminate the foreign varietals, and also aim for less concentration and extraction from the traditional varietals, and it all clicked: In the space of five years production of Bardolino Chiaretto more than doubled, from 5 to 11 million bottles, and the wine began to make its way into markets that had hitherto been unthinkable, including France.

And the improvements have spilled over from the Rosès: Bardolino the red wine is returning to what it once was, shedding excess color and concentration, becoming defter, more elegant, and more agile, and while there are some holdouts that still continue to make the wines of a decade ago, they are by now a minority and decrease in number yearly.

In short, Bardolino has turned itself around, and things are looking up.

The 2012 Bardolino, tasted March 18:

The Bardolino Anteprima

The Bardolino Anteprima

Aldo Adami

Aldo Adami Bardolino 2012
Pale slightly orange ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with sour berry fruit supported by some greenish vegetal accents and slight jammy notes. On the palate it’s fairly light, with sour vegetal laced red berry fruit supported by tannins that have a bitter warm greenish burr and flow into a green tannic finish. Fairly direct, and will drink well with quickly cooked meats, especially off the grill.
2 stars

Aldegheri

Aldegheri Bardolino Tenuta Villa Cariola 2012
Fairly deep cherry ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with sour cherry fruit supported by slight vegetal accents and some graphite shavings with underlying sea salt as well. On the palate it’s medium bodied and fairly soft, with ripe cherry fruit supported by sour cherry acidity and by tannins that have a slight splintery burr and flow into a clean fruit laced finish. It’s a little softer, and therefore will work better with drier meats rather than something along the lines of grilled sausages.
2 stars

Fulvio Benazzoli

Fulvio Benazzoli Bardolino 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is sweet, with candied cherry  fruit supported by slight vegetal accents and moderate more mineral than fruit driven acidity. On the palate it’s ample and soft at the outset, with moderately intense fairly sweet cherry fruit supported by light slightly greenish tannins, and as it flows into the finish, mineral acidity with some greenish accents that provide direction. The fruit is a little too sweet for me; though it’s not cloying, and this is personal preference.
1 star

Bergamini

Bergamini Bardolino Colline di Colà 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly green, with vegetal accents leading off followed by graphite shavings and some underbrush; there’s not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied and fairly soft, with moderate cherry fruit supported more by bitterness than acidity, and by tannins that have a bitter graphite shaving burr and flow into a fairly bitter finish. It’s harmonious, and if you like the style you’ll enjoy it, though I’d have liked a little more acidity.
2 stars

Bertoldi

Bertoldi Bardolino Classico Terra Rossa 2012
Lively slightly orange ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is riper than many, with jammy red berry fruit supported by some menthol and spice, with underlying heather and nutmeg as well, and some acidity. On the palate it’s medium bodied and fairly soft, with cherry fruit supported by ample slightly balsamic tannins and by acidity that emerges gradually, and is fairly mineral in character, flowing into a greenish tannic finish with a fair amount of warmth. It will work well with simple grilled meats and similar.
2 stars

Bigagnoli

Bigagnoli Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some cherry  fruit supported by slight hazelnut and as it opens greenish acidity laced with hints of nutmeg. On the palate it’s bright, with lively cherry  fruit supported by mineral acidity and tannins that are warm and fairly green, and flow into a warm greenish tannic finish. Pleasant, and will be quite versatile at the table.
2 stars

Bolla

Bolla Bardolino Classico 2012
Moderately deep cherry ruby with brilliant cherry reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish accents mingled with nutmeg spice and some sea salt with peppery notes as well. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderately rich cherry  fruit supported by slight mineral acidity and tannins that are smooth and fairly light; I had expected a little more acidity from the nose but it is instead softer, though there is direction from the acidity and tannins present.
2 stars

Vinicio Bronzo

Vinicio Bronzo Bardolino 2012
Lively cherry  ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with red berry fruit supported by greenish vegetal accents and some spice, and also moderate rather green acidity. On the palate it’s bright, with sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, though they do display a slight burr, and flow into a fairly quick clean fresh sour cherry finish. Pleasant in a somewhat brasher key, and will drink well with grilled meats, while there is also enough acidity for fried foods.
2 stars

Cà Bottura

Cà Bottura Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is somewhat overripe, with jammy almost candied cherry fruit supported by slight nutmeg and some greenish accents. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with slightly candied cherry fruit supported by bright mineral acidity and by tannins that have a warm greenish burr, and flow into a moderately sweet greenish finish. The fruit is slightly overripe and this detracts from the structure, which is instead feisty.
1 star

Cà dei Colli

Cà dei Colli Bardolino Classico 2012
Lively pale cherry ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish accents Not much fruit at present. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are smooth with a slight greenish burr, and flow into a warm sour cherry finish. Pleasant and if the nose follows the palate it will be quite nice. I think I would go out on a limb with this and assume it will.
2 stars

Cantina Caorsa

Cantina Caorsa Bardolino Classico 2012
Deep cherry ruby – darker than many – with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with slight candied cherry  fruit supported by hints of nutmeg and menthol. Still coming together. On the palate it’s ample and greener than I expected form the nose, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by acidity and tannins that are both quite vegetal, and flow into a decidedly vegetal finish. It may be a bit heat struck; I’d have liked a little more fruit to balance the vegetal accents.
1 star

Cantina di Castelnuovo del Garda

Cantina di Castelnuovo del Garda Bardolino Castelnuovo 2012
Pale slightly orange cherry  ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is somewhat overripe, with candied cherries mingled with some greenish accents and slight nutmeg spice. On the palate it’s ample and fairly soft, with sweetish cherry  fruit supported by moderate  slightly greenish acidity and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly quick finish. It’s approachable in a somewhat softer key and is a wine one could if one wanted drink by the glass; I found it slightly overripe but this is a personal observation.
2 stars

Cantina di Castelnuovo del Garda Bardolino Vintage 2012
Pale cherry ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, though some greenish accents emerge mingled with slight medicinal notes. On the palate it’s medium bodied with moderate fruit supported by tannins that have a bitter underbrush tang and flow into a fairly bitter finish, while there isn’t much acidity – it’s moderate fruit supported by bitterness, and this is less interesting.
1 star

Cantina di Castelnuovo del Garda Bardolino Classico Cà Vegar 2012
Fairly deep cherry ruby with lively ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with candied cherry  fruit supported by some spice. On the palate it’s a bit disjointed, with moderately intense candied cherry  fruit supported by tannins that have an angry greenish burr, and by some bitterness, but not much acidity. I’d have liked more.
1 star

Cantina di Custoza

Cantina di Custoza Bardolino I Classici 2012
Moderately pale cherry  ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with candied cherry fruit supported by some greenish accents and underlying nutmeg spice. On the palate it’s bright, with fairly lively sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a greenish peppery burr and flow into a slightly greenish sour cherry  fruit finish with peppery tannic underpinning. Pleasant in a zesty key, and will work well with foods.
2 stars

Cantina di Custoza Bardolino Classico Val dei Molini 2012
Deep cherry  ruby – one of the darker wines poured – with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with smoky slightly greenish berry fruit supported by some nutmeg and some vegetal accents. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderately intense cherry  fruit supported by mineral more than fruit driven acidity and by tannins that have a dry splintery burr and flow into a dry tannic finish. I’d have liked a little more richness of fruit; it feels as if it may have been heat struck.
1 star

Casaretti

Casaretti Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale almost rosy ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with sour cherry  fruit supported by hints of orange rind and nutmeg spice that gains in intensity as it opens On the palate it’s deft, with delicate sour cherry fruit supported by spice and sour berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have a warm slightly greenish peppery burr and flow into a fresh sour cherry finish supported by acidity and slightly greenish tannins. It’s a lighter interpretation, and one that will work quite well with quickly grilled meats or fried meats and vegetables.
2 stars

Cascina Mondator

Cascina Mondator Bardolino 2012
Pale slightly orange ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, though some minerality and spice emerges, gaining nutmeg intensity with swishing. On the palate it’s bright, with lively vegetal laced sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and nutmeg spice, while the tannins are slightly splintery and light. Quite fresh, and refreshing, and will work well with quickly cooked meats and vegetables. Expect it to go quickly.
2 stars

Natale Castellani

Natale Castellani Bardolino Cà dei Rotti 2012
Pale ruby – one of the paler wines poured – with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense and a bit unusual, opening with burnt balsamic notes and some greenish vegetal accents, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with fairly bright sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a warm greenish burr and flow into a fairly bright sour berry fruit finish with tannic underpinning The palate is more interesting than the nose and this is extreme youth; if the nose develops fruit it will be pleasant, but the jury is out at present.

Gerardo Cesari

Gerardo Cesari Bardolino Classico 2012
Lively cherry  ruby with cherry reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry  fruit supported by sour cherry  acidity and by some greenish vegetal accents, and also by some vegetal bitterness. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with less fruit than I expected from the nose, sour cherry that is overshadowed by the bitterness of the tannins, while the acidity is greenish and moderate. Because of its fairly aggressive tannins it will work with succulent grilled meats.
1 star

Renato Corradini

Renato Corradini Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some medicinal accents and some bitterness. On the palate it’s medium bodied tending towards light, with slightly candied fruit that has a slightly dilute feel to it supported by moderate mineral acidity and tannins that are fairly smooth; there’s something brooding to it and I’d have liked greater brightness to the fruit, which is instead glowering.
1 star

Corte Gardoni

Corte Gardoni Bardolino Le Fontane 2012
Cherry ruby with brilliant cherry  reflections and white rim. The bouquet is brambly, with greenish vegetal notes and some red berry fruit supported by heather and some nutmeg spice; there’s a degree of zest to it. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with fairly rich cherry fruit supported by bitter sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a slight greenish burr and flow into a greenish tannic finish that is fairly long. Pleasant in a fairly zesty key and will drink well with foods.
2 stars

Corte Gioliare

Corte Gioliare Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is eye opening, opening with an aroma that brings plaster board to mind – not sure what it is but it’s atypical, and there is some greenness lurking behind it. On the palate it’s medium bodied with rather medicinal sour berry fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and tannins that are fairly smooth. It’s a bit disjointed and the fruit isn’t quite what I might have liked.
1 star

Costadoro

Costadoro Bardolino Classico 2012
Lively cherry  ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with cherry fruit supported by nutmeg spice and some savory notes, with underlying warmth and hints of mint Fresh. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by warmth and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a warm sour cherry finish that’s quite long. Pleasant, in a fresh zesty key, and will work very well with grilled or roasted meats, and also fried meats and vegetables.
2 stars

Fratelli Zeni

Fratelli Zeni Bardolino Classico Vigna del Nino 2012
Fairly deep cherry ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is spicy, with nutmeg and some mace mingled with hints of cloves,a nd some underlying berry fruit. On the palate it’s light, with sour cherry fruit supported by tannins that have an angry greenish burr and flow into a finish that’s quick and rather medicinal.
1 star

Frezza

Frezza Bardolino 2012
Deep cherry  ruby with black reflections and white rim. The bouquet is a bit unusual, with greenish vegetal notes and some spice, and also a certain warmth, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with fairly bright cherry  fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are warm and rather mineral, and flow into a clean sour berry fruit finish with slightly vegetal tannic underpinning. The palate is more interesting than the nose, which is far from developed.

Susanna e Eugenio Girardelli

Susanna e Eugenio Girardelli Bardolino Classico 2012
Lively pale ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly intense,w I considerable nutmeg supported by floral accents and underlying red berry fruit. Pleasant. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are warm and have a slight splintery burr, flowing into a warm sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a zesty bright key and will work very well with foods.
2 stars

Giuseppe e Gian Pietro Girardi

Giuseppe e Gian Pietro Girardi Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is intense, with slightly greenish sour cherry fruit supported by some greenish slightly medicinal acidity. On the palate it’s bright, with lively greenish sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a warm vegetal burr and flow into a warm greenish sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a zesty aggressive key, and will work quite well with foods, especially grilled or fried meats and vegetables.
2 stars

Girasole

Girasole Bardolino Classico 2012
Lively cherry  ruby with ruby reflections and pale rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with slightly candied berry fruit supported by some hints of char and moderate spice. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderately intense cherry fruit supported by slightly charred accents and mineral acidity, while the tannins are warm and fairly light. The char is distracting, and I’d have liked more brightness to the fruit.
1 star

Guerrieri Rizzardi

Guerrieri Rizzardi Bardolino Classico Tacchetto 2012
Deep cherry  ruby with cherry reflections and white rim. The bouquet is intense and rather funky, with wet stable straw mingled with greenish accents and some balsamic notes. On the palate it’s ample and green, with moderately intense berry fruit supported by tannins that have a powerful vegetal burr and by moderate balsamic acidity that flows into a decidedly green dry tannic finish. There may have been problems with ripening, but it lacks fruit and is decidedly angry.
1 star

Il Pignetto

Il Pignetto Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with intense nutmeg spice supported by some red berry fruit and slight underlying acidity. On the palate it’s bright, with ively sour cherry  fruit supported by berry fruit acidity and slight greenish accents, while the tannins are warm and savory with a slight burr, and flow into a long sour cherry finish that gradually fades into tannic warmth. Pleasant in a scrappy key and will drink nicely with grilled or fried meats. If you like this style you will enjoy it considerably.
2 stars

La Cà

La Cà Bardolino Classico 2012
Fairly dark cherry  ruby with cherry reflections and pale cherry  rim. The bouquet is interesting, with candied cherry  fruit supported by nutmeg and some greenish accents. On the palate it’s bright, with fairly rich cherry  fruit supported by moderately intense sour cherry  acidity, and by tannins that are smooth, with a slight mineral burr, and flow into a mineral sour cherry finish with slightly glancing tannic underpinning. While the fruit is sour the acidity isn’t as aggressive as it is in many of the others, and therefore if you don’t like strong acidities you will find this more approachable in a bright zesty key, and enjoy it considerably.
2 stars

La Presa

La Presa Bardolino 2012
Cherry  ruby with ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is savory, with moderate sour berry fruit and quite a bit of sea salt, and some slightly cooked accents. On the palate it’s ample and fairly rich, with candied cherry fruit supported by greenish acidity and by tannins that have a warm vegetal burr, and flow into a greenish tannic finish with hints of sweetness. It is somewhat overripe and feels slightly heat struck.
1 star

Lamberti

Lamberti Bardolino Classico Santepietre 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some greenish accents. Very young. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderately intense greenish sour cherry  fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by greenish tannins. I’d have liked more brightness to the fruit.
1 star

La Rocca

La Rocca Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale slightly pink ruby – one of the paler wines poured – with brilliant electric reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, of the nobody home variety. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that have a slightly greenish burr and flow into a dry tannic finish. It’s in mid stride, and if the nose follows the palate will be pleasant in a zesty key, but we’re not there yet.

Le Fraghe

Le Fraghe Bardolino 2012
Deep cherry  ruby – it’s one of the darker wines poured – with black reflections and cherry rim paling to orange. The bouquet is intense,with candied cherry  fruit mingled nutmeg and wood smoke, and some underlying barnyard tang that confers a degree of rusticity. On the palate it’s ample and green, with greenness overshadowing fruit, and spicy tannins that have an angry burr and flow into a dry tannic finish. There isn’t enough fruit for the tannic structure.
1 star

Le Ginestre

Le Ginestre Bardolino Classsico Mondragon 2012
Pale –  almost rosy – cherry ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is bright, with nutmeg and greenish vegetal accents supported by sour berry fruit and some savory accents. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry  fruit supported by tannins that have a greenish nutmeg overlay and by fairly bright sour berry fruit acidity that flow into a bright greenish sour cherry finish. Pleasant in a lively zesty key and will work quite well with grilled or fried meats or simple stews.
2 stars

Le Muraglie

Le Muraglie Bardolino Vicentini 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with black reflections and white rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish vegetal accens mingled with red berry fruit and nutmeg, and some airy savory notes. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry  fruit supported by bright sour cherry acidity that has a fairly strng greenish cast, and by tannins that are peppery and flow into a greenish tannic finish with sea salt and warmth, and underlying sour cherry  fruit. Zesty, and will work well with grilled meats or fried meats and vegetables, and be a nice summer wine.
2 stars

Le Tende

Le Tende Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is powerful and elegant, with floral accents mingled with nutmeg and red berry fruit; it’s quite fresh and invites repeated sniffs. On the palate it’s medium bodied with rich sour cherry fruit supported by bright sour cherry acidity and by tannins that are light and sweet and have a pleasant nutmeg overlay, and flow into a fairly long sour cherry finish with nutmeg spice and a dry tannic underpinning. Zesty and lithe, a wine that will work very well with grilled meats, and also has the acidity for fried meats and vegetables. Quite pleasant, and if you like the style it’s worth seeking out.
2 stars

Le Vigne di San Pietro

Le Vigne di San Pietro Bardolino 2012
Fairly deep black cherry  ruby with black reflections and cherry rim – it’s one of the darker wines poured. The bouquet is intense, with slightly charred graphite shavings mingled with some red berry fruit and slight hints of barnyard tang. On the palate it’s ample, with moderate fruit supported by greenish vegetal notes and tannins that again have a slightly scorched feel to them, and flow into a dry tannic finish. Not sure what happened here, but the scorch is a bit much.
1 star

Lenotti

Lenotti Bardolino Classico 2012
Lively cherry  ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up slight greenish vegetal accents. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with bright slightly sweet sour cherry fruit suported by greenish vegetal acidity and by tannins that have a greenish vegetal burr and flow into a fairly green tannic finish with underlying sour cherry fruit and some peppery spice. It’s fresh in a ripe key and will drink nicely with meats.
2 stars

Marcello Marchesini

Marcello Marchesini Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant cherry  reflections and white rim. The bouquet is penetrating, with smoky chemical notes and some nose tingling acidity mingled with slightly scorched accents that aren’t quite hazelnut but are headed in that direction. The palate reflects the nose, with warm sour cherry fruit that has similar medicinal notes and is supported by peppery tannins that flow into a warm savory tannic finish. The chemical notes are distracting, and detract from the wine.
1 star

Monte dei Roari

Monte dei Roari Bardolino 2012
Fairly deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry  rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with greenish vegetal notes and some spice but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied, with moderately intense sour cherry  fruit supported by greenish acidity and tannins that have an angry peppery burr and flow into a warm peppery tannic finish with a savory underpinning. The tannins are overly angry and overpower the fruit, which would be sufficient for a less tannic wine but is overmatched here.
1 star

Monte del Frà

Monte del Frà Bardolino 2012
Lively cherry  ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, of the nobody hoe variety. On the palate it’s medium bodied with moderately intense sour cherry  fruit supported by greenish vegetal acidity and by fairly light tannins that flow into a moderately sweet cherry laced finish with green tannic underpinning. It’s lacking in verve and though not settled doesn’t have the brightness I’d have liked.
1 star

Monte Zovo

Monte Zovo Bardolino 2012
Pale cherry ruby with cherry reflections and white rim that has hints of orange. The bouquet is a bit smoky, with hints of toasted almonds mingled with slight nutmeg and cumin, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s medium bodied with moderately intense sour cherry  fruit supported by greenish berry fruit acidity that’s not quite as tight as I might have liked, and by tannins that are peppery and flow into a warm tannic finish. I’d have liked a little more brightness to the fruit, though in its defense the wine is very young and still coming together.
2 stars

Lorenzo Morando

Lorenzo Morando Bardolino 2012
Lively pale cherry  ruby with brilliant reflections and cherry  rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up slight berry fruit and slight graphite shaving bitterness. On the palate it’s fairly bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tnanins that are warm and have a slightly savory burr that flows into a tannic greenish sour berry fruit finish. It’s quite young in a zesty aggressive key, and if you like the style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Pigno

Pigno Bardolino 2012
Pale rosy ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and pink rim. The bouquet is fairly rich, with nutmeg and hints of coriander and cumin mingled with red berry fruit and slight greenish accents. On the palate it’s light, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright sour cherry  acidity and by tannins that have a warm greenish burr and flow into a peppery tannic finish with sour cherry underlay. Pleasant in a bright zesty key, and will drink very well with grilled overtones otherwise quickly cooked red meats, and also has sufficient acidity to work well with fried meats.
2 stars

Albino Piona

Albino Piona Bardolino 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with greenish vegetal notes mingled with sour berry fruit, nutmeg, and savory spice, and also slight toasted graphite shavings. On the palate it’s medium bodied and bright, with lively sour cherry  fruit supported by sour cherry  acidity that has a greenish cast, and by fairly smooth tannins that do display a slight peppery burr and flow into a peppery sour berry fruit finish. Pleasant in a zesty tannic key and if you like the style you will enjoy it.
2 stars

Giorgio Poggi

Giorgio Poggi Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant cherry reflections and white rim. The bouquet has some smoke to it coupled with warmth and toast, and slight medicinal notes, but not much in the way of fruit. On the palate it’s fairly bright, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are warm and greenish, and flow into a sour cherry finish It’s pleasant enough but a touch lax, and I’d have liked greater tightness to the acidity.
1 star

Raval

Raval Bardolino Classico 2012
Lively cherry  ruby with brilliant cherry  reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with red berry fruit supported by nutmeg and some savory notes; it’s still coming together bu pleasant to sniff. On the palate it’s ripe, with fairly rich sour cherry and forest berry fruit supported by sour berry fruit acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, with a slight nutmeg overlay, and flow into a warm slightly greenish sour berry fruit finish with underlying tannic structure. Quite fresh, and will drink well with grilled meats and other cookout foods.
2 stars

Dante Righetti

Dante Righetti Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some delicate berry fruit and slight vegetal accents mingled with hints of spice. On the palate it’s moderately intense with greenish berry fruit supported by tannins that have a greenish vegetal underlying and flow into a savory greenish finish. I’d have liked more intense fruit than I found; the tannins end up carrying the show and that is a task they are less suited for.
1 star

Enzo Righetti

Enzo Righetti Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant cherry  reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some red berry fruit supported by spice and slight graphite shaving bitterness. It’s still coming together. On the palate it’s ample with fairly bright greenish sour cherry fruit supported by greenish acidity and by tannins that have a bitter graphite shaving burr and flow into a fairly bitter finish. It’s fairly aggressive, and if you like the style will work well with grilled or roasted meats.
2 stars

Roccolo del Lago

Roccolo del Lago Bardolino Chiaretto Classico 2012
Fairly deep black cherry  ruby – it’s one of the darker wines poured – with black reflections and cherry  rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up some spice and slight sour berry fruit supported by hints of graphite shaving bitterness. On the palate it’s full, with moderately intense sour cherry fruit supported by moderate greenish acidity and tannins that have an angry graphite shaving laced bitter burr and flow into a rather bitter finish. I’d have liked more brightness and richness overtones the fruit, which is overcome by the bitterness of the tannins.
1 star

Ronca

Ronca Bardolino 2012
Pale slightly orange cherry ruby with hints of orange in the rim and brilliant reflections. The bouquet is fairly rich, with red berry fruit supported by nutmeg and some mace, and by slight balsamic accents. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by nutmeg-laced  sour berry fruit acidity and smooth sweet tannins that flow into a fairly bright sour cherry finish with greenish tannic underpinning. Pleasant, and will be quite versatile at table too.
2 stars

Sartori

Sartori Bardolino Classico 2012
Cherry ruby with black reflections and brilliant highlights, and rim paling to white. The bouquet is muted, of the nobody home sort. On the palate it’s medium bodied with moderately intense decidedly greenish berry fruit supported by tannins that have a greenish tannic burr and flow into a tannic finish. There isn’t much acidity – the tannins carry the show, and I found their greenish aggressiveness to be a bit much.
1 star

Tamburino Sardo

Tamburino Sardo Bardolino 2012
Pale almost rosy ruby with brilliant ruby reflections and white rim. The bouquet is delicate, with sweetish berry fruit laced with considerable nutmeg and delicate spice; while it’s obviously still coming together it is also pleasant. On the palate it’s bright, with fresh cherry strawberry fruit supported by warm raspberry acidity and by watm sweet tannins that flow into a clan warm finish with cherry raspberry acidity. Pleasant in a young fresh key and will drink quite well with grilled or fried meats, and will also be an excellent cookout wine in the summer months.
2 stars

Giovanna Tantini

Giovanna Tantini Bardolino 2012
Slightly garnet ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is unusual, with candied cherry  and forest berry fruit fruit that has spicy eucalyptus accents that bring to mind a Fisherman’s Friend type cough lozenge. On the palate it’s ample and medicinal, with moderate fruit supported by bitter almost quinine accents, and by savory tannins that flow into a quinine laced savory finish. Unusual and particular, an is one of those wines that you will like if you like the style, but you have to like the style.
1 star

Tre Colline

Tre Colline Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some sour berry fruit supported by nutmeg and some savory accents; it’s still coming together. On the palate it’s brith, with lively fresh sour cherry raspberry fruit supported by raspberry acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, though they do display a savory burr, and flow into a fairly long sour raspberry finish. Pleasant in a zesty key and will be quite versatile working with a wide variety of foods.
2 stars

Valetti

Valetti Bardolino Classico 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is muted, though swishing brings up slight sour cherry fruit supported by some vegetal notes and slight hints of cumin spice. On the palate it’s medium bodied with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by moderate acidity and by tannins that are fairly smooth, though they do display a spicy burr. The fruit isn’t quite as rich nor as defined as I might have liked.
1 star

Cantina Valpolicella Negrar

Cantina Valpolicella Negrar Bardolino Classico Domini Veneti 2012
Fairly deep cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with greenish berry fruit supported by vegetal notes; it’s still quite young. On the palate it’s ample, with moderately intense sour berry fruit supported by some berry fruit acidity and to a greater degree by tannins that have a a peppery burr and flow into a fairly aggressive tannic finish. I’d have liked more acidity and tightness to the fruit, which surrenders somewhat to the tannins.
1 star

Vigneti Villabella

Vigneti Villabella Bardolino Classico Vigna Morlongo 2012
Pale cherry  ruby with brilliant cherry reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense with some berry fruit and graphite shavings bitterness, and some greenish notes that approach but don’ quite reach nutmeg spice. On the palate it’s fairly bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by vegetal berry fruit acidity, and by tannins that have a slightly peppery overlay and flow into a fairly bitter tannic finish. It’s quite young and needs another couple of months at least; this said it is fairly graceful and will drink nicely with grilled or fried meats.
2 stars

Villa Medici

Villa Medici Bardolino 2012
Pale cherry ruby with brilliant reflections and white rim. The bouquet is moderately intense, with some sour berry fruit and slight spice, but it’s obviously still coming together. On the palate it’s bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by sour cherry raspberry acidity and by tannins that have a greenish peppery burr and flow into a sour cherry finish with pleasant underlying greenish tannins. Quite versatile.
2 stars

Zenato

Zenato Bardolino 2012
Fairly deep cherry ruby with black reflections and brilliant highlights, and rim paling to white. The bouquet is fairly intense, with sour berry fruit supported by orange citric acidity and balsamic accents with a slight greenish underpinning. On the palate it’s fairly aggressive, with greenish sour berry fruit supported by balsamic acidity and by tannins that are green, with a lively peppery burr that flows into a peppery tannic finish with minerality more than fruit, while there are some sweetish accents as well. I’d have in fact liked more richness and definition to the fruit.
1 star

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About Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.
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