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Folonari Veneto Merlot-Sangiovese 2000
BOUQUET: Fragrant, with notes of violets.
TASTE: Dry, with good structure and fruit, tastes of cherries and raspberries.
GASTRONOMIC SUGGESTIONS: Red meat, roasts, pasta in meat sauce, cheese.
The history of Folonari dates from 1825, when Francesco Folonari founded the firm in Valcamonica in the Veneto. In the latter half of the 19th century, he and his sons moved to Brescia, establishing one of Italy's first winemaking facilities. They pioneered the production and distribution of wine in bottle, thus making it possible for consumers to drink wines of good and constant quality on an everyday basis. This philosophy continues to guide the firm today as it offers a range of typical regional wines from the most popular viticultural areas.
Folonari Soave is the daily choice of many discriminating wine drinkers, an easy; gentle dry wine, which everyone will enjoy. Pinot Grigio is a fresh, dry varietal with a subtle touch of almonds, grown in the Veneto district, and the perfect step up from Folonari Soave. Compare Folonari Pinot Grigio to examples selling several times its modest price! Merlot, a soft, round red wine pleasing to all palates, is a terrific bargain in a variety, and still very fashionable. In keeping with their tradition of assuring value for money, Folonari also offers a delicious Cabernet Sauvignon at a fraction of the cost of comparable wines as well as other selections in keeping with their tradition of assuring value for money.
A large and diverse wine region in northeastern Italy, the Veneto is home to a vast array of different styles of wine.
The sub-region of Valpolicella (meaning “valley of cellars” in Italian) is a series of north to south valleys and is the source of Veneto’s best red wine with the same name. Valpolicella—the wine—is juicy, spicy, tart and packed full of red cherry flavors. Corvina makes up the backbone of the blend with Rondinella, Molinara, Croatina and others playing supporting roles. Recioto and Amarone follow the same blending patterns but are made from grapes left to dry for a few months before pressing, resulting in wines that are intense, full-bodied, heady and often, quite cerebral.
Soave, based on the indigenous Garganega grape, is the famous white here—made ultra popular in the 1970s at a time when quantity was more important than quality. Today one can find great values on whites from Soave, making it a perfect choice as an everyday sipper! But the more recent local, increased focus on low yields and high quality winemaking in the original Soave zone, now called Soave Classico, gives the real gems of the area. A fine Soave Classico will exhibit a round palate full of flavors such as ripe pear, apricot, or yellow peach, have smoky and exotic aromas and a sapid, fresh, mineral-driven finish.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.