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Tedeschi Valpolicella Lucchine 2015
Nicolò Tedeschi founded the company that bears his name in the Valpolicella area in 1824. He was a genuine personality of his time, renowned for his skill and moral stature. Throughout the years, his family has continued the traditional wine-making process, and today, the winery is owned by the fifth generation of Tedeschis: Antonietta, Sabrina and Riccardo. Each has various responsibilities, but it is Riccardo, the oenologist, who deals with production and acts as Tedeschi's Export Director.
Tedeschi utilizes two traditional winemaking techniques almost as old as winemaking itself. Amarone della Valpolicella is the only mainstream style where the wines are fermented to dryness, yielding deeply colored and concentrated wines, rich in character, and often rich in alcohol, too. The ripasso method, utilizing the drained but unpressed must of an Amarone, provides some kick to a more basic wine and is also unique to the region.
Each of Tedeschi’s wines must not only be as good as possible, but also as personal as it can be. Each has its own style and a clearly distinguishable character—the genuine “Tedeschi Trademark.” In order to achieve this objective, the family monitors every phase of the wine-making process, from the vineyard to the cellar, without ever trying to substitute nature or its laws in any way.
A large and diverse wine region in northeastern Italy, the Veneto is home to a vast array of different styles of wine. With no defining regional characteristics, it can be a bit confusing to the general consumer to parse through its many subzones, but the patient wine lover will find many treasures to be discovered here, typically at wallet-friendly prices. Red and white wines are produced here, with more emphasis on the latter, as well as the ultra-popular sparkling wine Prosecco. The region is sheltered from harsh northern European winters by the Alps, which form its northern border, but the climate is still relatively cool, making the Veneto ideal for white wine production.
Much of Italy’s Pinot Grigio hails from the Veneto, where it can range from neutral and inoffensive to crisp and refreshing. Soave, made primarily from the Garganega grape, has a reputation for producing relatively ordinary, bulk wines, but can be very elegant when yields are carefully monitored, with aromas of lemon, almond, and white flowers. Valpolicella is the region’s best-known red wine, with juicy, tart red cherry flavors derived from the Corvina grape. Recioto and Amarone wines made from dried grapes are a regional specialty and can be very intense, heady, and cerebral.
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 create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. 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.