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Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca 2009

Garganega from Veneto, Italy
  • WE92
  • RP92
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Pieropan Soave Classico La Rocca is a brilliant straw yellow color with greenish hints. The delicate nose is reminiscent of almond blossoms and marzipan. The wine has good depth of fruit on the palate, nicely balanced by a zingy acidity that enhances its long length.

It makes an excellent partner for soups, starters, especially vegetable based such as asparagus, peas, courgette, egg-based dishes or seafood and fresh water fish dishes. It is also an excellent aperitif, especially when served with simple canapés.

Critical Acclaim

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

Past vintages of La Rocca have demonstrated Soave's potential for cellar aging, and this beautiful expression from the excellent 2009 vintage also shows a bright future ahead. The wine is redolent of yellow roses and stone fruit and offers a playfully spicy note at the end.

RP 92
The Wine Advocate

The 2009 Soave Classico La Rocca opens with an attractive bouquet framed by subtle hints of oak. Sweet apricots, honey and jasmine are all beautifully layered in the glass. The open, textured finish is immensely appealing. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Elegant, with well-knit, racy acidity framing lightly honeyed flavors of ripe Gala apple, cantaloupe, almond pastry, ground ginger and citrus zest. This lovely, finely honed example displays a lingering smoke- and floral-tinged finish.

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Pieropan

Pieropan

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Pieropan, , Italy
Pieropan
Enclosed by the original town walls and dominated by its medieval fortress, Soave has a peaceful, timeless quality about it. In the heart of the old town is the winery of Leonildo and Teresita Pieropan, which goes back to 1860. The present Leonildo ("Nino")'s grandfather, Leonildo Senior, founded the estate and 'invented' Recioto di Soave, a concentrated dessert wine applying a system similar to Tuscany's governo to the indigenous, white Garganega grape.

Today, the estate's 74 acres under vine include three single vineyards, all within the historical backbone of the Soave appellation (Soave Classico): Calvarino, La Rocca and Le Colombare. Terrain is respectively clayey/basaltic, calcareous/clayey, and clayey/marly/tuffaceous, yielding small crops of highly concentrated Garganega and Trebbiano grapes. The range is crafted by Leonildo himself, whose wine-making genius, constant research and innovative methods have carved a unique niche for these exceptional, extract-full and long-living whites that go far, far beyond their own appellation.

Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines...

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Highly regarded for distinctive and age-worthy red wines, Rioja is Spain’s most celebrated wine region and also home to whites of equivalent quality but lesser renown. Made up of three different sub-regions of varying elevation—Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa, and Rioja Baja—wines are typically a blend of fruit from all three, although single-zone wines are beginning to gain in popularity. Rioja Alta, at the highest elevation, is considered to be the source of the brightest, most elegant fruit, while grapes from the warmer and drier Rioja Baja produce wines with deep color and high alcohol which mainly serve to add body to a blend. While fresh and fruity Riojas labeled “Joven” undergo minimal aging before release, a hallmark of more serious Rioja wines is the aroma and flavor of new oak—traditionally American, which imparts characteristics of dill, coconut, vanilla, and spice to the wine. Tighter-grained, subtler French oak, however, is becoming increasingly common. Crianza and Reserva styles are aged at least one year in oak, and Gran Reserva at least two, but in practice this maturation period is often quite a bit longer—up to about fifteen years.

Tempranillo provides the backbone of Rioja red wines, providing complex notes of red and black fruit, leather, and tobacco, while Garnacha supplies body and alcohol. In smaller percentages, Graciano and Mazuelo often serve as “seasoning” with additional flavors and aromas. These same varieties are responsible for flavorful dry rosés. White wines are made mostly from crisp, fresh Viura, which is usually blended with aromatic Malvasia and weighty Garnacha Blanca. White Rioja has traditionally been made in a nutty, oxidative style, though a bright, unoaked version is currently in vogue.

Tempranillo

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity...

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Notoriously food-friendly with soft tannins, modest alcohol, and bright acidity, Tempranillo is the star of Spain’s Rioja and Ribera del Duero regions. It is important throughout Spain as well as in Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz and is an important component of Port wines and the table wines of the Douro region that Port calls home. California, Washington, and Oregon have all had moderate success with Tempranillo, producing a riper, more fruit-forward style of wine.

In the Glass

Tempranillo is often aged in new oak for the integration of spicy, woodsy, and herbal flavors, often with hints of vanilla, coconut, and dill. The grape itself produces medium-weight reds with bright red and black fruit aromas and hints of spice, leather, and tobacco, with no shortage of flavor.

Perfect Pairings

Tempranillo’s modest, fine-grained tannins and bright acidity make it extremely food friendly, pairing with a wide variety of Spanish-inspired dishes—especially grilled lamb chops, a rich chorizo and bean stew, or paella.

Sommelier Secret

The Spanish take their oak aging requirements very seriously, especially in Rioja. There, a system is in place to indicate on the label how much time the wine has spent in both barrel and bottle before release, which is helpful to the consumer trying to determine the style of an unfamiliar wine. Rioja can range from Joven (fresh, fruity, and unoaked) to Gran Reserva (complex and oxidized from extended barrel aging), with Crianza and Reserva in between.

CAR34311_09_2009 Item# 113592

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