Showing posts with label Guerrieri Rizzardi. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guerrieri Rizzardi. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Italian Trio at O’Brien’s. Bardolino and Soave by Guerrieri Rizzardi

Italian Trio at O’Brien’s
Bardolino and Soave by Guerrieri Rizzardi
On a recent weekend, my local Douglas O’Brien’s - indeed O’Brien’s nationwide - had an Italian tasting, highlighting the wines of Guerrieri Rizzardi from the Veneto. I came away with a few bottles, two Bardolino and one Soave. The Bardolino wine zone may be familiar to quite a few of you as it lies on the eastern shores of Lake Garda, popular with Irish holidaymakers.

Soave is also in the Veneto but further east. The drive for quantity over quality led “to the eventual detriment of the Soave brand” according to Wine-Searcher.com. Yet good producers - and Guerrieri Rizzardi is one of the best there, according to Grapes and Wines -  can make “a complex and satisfying” classico. My bottle comes from the original Classico. Watch out too for Soave Superiore.

Like Soave, the Bardolino viticultural area saw much expansion and again there was a drop in quality. Wines in original areas near Bardolino town are labelled Classico and Superiore as are the ones below. No lack of quality here though! The wines were on offer (offer price in brackets) when I called, but just for that weekend!
Costeggiola Soave Classico 2011, 13.5%, €15.45 (12.36), O’Brien’s
Only about twenty per cent of Soave now comes from the original Classico zone. Costeggiola enjoyed a very good year in 2011. And this is a blend of Garganega (70 per cent minimum) and Chardonnay (30% maximum). No oak has been used but it has been aged on lees.

The characteristics of Garganega are exotic spice, citrus fruit and nutty aromas and Chardonnay is used to enhance richness, body and complexity.

It boasts a lovely light gold colour. Not overly aromatic but pleasant peach and pear notes come through. Fruit and acidity were immediately noted, minerality in play too, and a persistent finish. Recommended.

There is a note on the bottle that this should not be served too chilled. Very important advice! Serve between 12-13 degrees to get the best from your Costeggiola!  With all that lively acidity it would be a pity not to drink this with food and they recommended pairing it with Italian starters, white meats, fresh or smoked seafood, shellfish, goats cheese or tempura prawns. Should be okay too with salads and vegetarian dishes.

Tacchetto Bardolino Classico 2014, 12.5%, €16.45 (13.16) O’Brien’s
This has a very light red colour and indeed is nice and light in many respects, including the fragrant fruity aromas. It is fresh and fruity too on the palate, a little spice too, good acidity and quite a long finish, a beautiful light, smooth easy-drinking wine, good either with or without food. Highly Recommended. And you can make that Very Highly Recommend if you like this easy-drinking fruity style!

There are three grapes variety in the blend - Corvina (80%), Rondinella (10) and Merlot (10) - grown on stony vineyards. Label recommends serving it at 14-16 degrees but a well informed source in Douglas told me he has seen it served lightly chilled.

Food pairings, suggested by the producer: Cajun; rabbit; steak tartar; salami and cold pork meat.


Munus Bardolino Classico Superiore 2013, 13%, €21.45 (14.90) O’Brien’s

This is made from the highest quality grapes (including some very old Corvina) from the best Bardolino vineyards and spends 12 months in seasoned oak. Indeed, Munus is the only red wine cuvée from the Bardolino classico wine area aged in oak barrels. The same three grapes are used: Corvino (70%), Merlot (20%) and Rondinella (10%).

Color is a little darker than the Tacchetto, not by much. Aromas are vibrant and fruity, and follow through to the palate. Flavours are more robust, “more muscle,” I was told in Douglas! Acidity is excellent, hints of sweet spice too, and a good finish too. All that acidity means it's meant for food. Bring on the lamb!  The producer says: “Superb with pork and poultry dishes and lighter game such as partridge and quail. Also porcini mushroom risotto.” Very Highly Recommended.

There are other Guerrieri Rizzardi wines at O'Brien's as well as this trio.