Last year the Tedeschi Family held a vertical of La Fabriseria , which they had transformed into a Valpolicella Classico Superiore by eliminating the Cabernet that used to go into it, and which was (for me) one of the highpoints of Vinitaly. This year they were simply pouring their wines, and tasting them was a very pleasant hour. Like many producers of Valpolicella, they also have a few whites and we began with those:
Tedeschi Bianco di Custozza 2008
Pale brassy yellow with white rim. The bouquet is fresh, with floral accents and heather, mingled with tart white fruit, more pineapple than grapeft. On the palate it's fairly rich, with bitter minerality laced with heather that flows into a clean bitter finish. Quite direct, and will drink well with cheese or egg based dishes -- say an oniony quiche or frittata -- or with simple grilled fish or white meats. Expect it to go quickly.
Tedeschi Soave Classico 2008
Pale greenish white with brassy reflections. The bouquet is fairly rich, with heather and some greenish vegetal accents mingled with underripe honeydew melon. Nice balance and inviting in a youthful key. On the palate it's fairly full, with lively minerality and heather supported by tart almost peppery acidity that flows into a clean rather bitter finish. Pleasant and will drink well as an aperitif, or with creamy fish dishes -- a fish risotto, for example.
Tedeschi Capitel Tenda Soave Classico 2008
This was a vineyard selection, but is now a selection of the best grapes from their Soave vineyards. It's brassy yellow with brassy reflections, and white rim; the bouquet is bright and rich with heather supported by deft greenish acidity and spice from grapes; it displays nice balance and has a fair amount to say. On the palate it's full and rich, with heather and vegetal acidity with underlying minerality that flows into a clean mineral finish with underlying bitterness. Welcoming; it will be nice as an aperitif or with rich first courses, creamy pesto sauces come do mind, as do fish-based pasta dishes and risotti. It will also be apleasant aperitif.
Tedeschi Lucchini Valpolicella Classico 2008
This wine is still made with some Molinara -- about 10% -- and is from their only flat-lying vineyard. It's also what Sabrina Tedeschi likes to drink day to day: Lively ruby with cherry reflections and has a fresh, bright berry fruit bouquet laced with hints of sandalwood and some vegetal accents. Quite refreshing, and inviting, rather like a pretty teen with a challenging stare. On the palate it's fresh, and bright, with lively red berry fruit supported by brisk acidity and tannins that are warm, with a clean burr, and flow into a clean berry fruit finish. An absolutely classic food wine that will drink well with all sorts of things, from quickly grilled meats through red-sauced pastas and fried meats and vegetables. It will also be nice at a cookout, and will go fast.
Tedeschi Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2007
This is their basic Valpolicella Superiore, and is a lively cherry ruby with black reflections and hints of almandine at the rim. The bouquet is fresh, with pleasant sandalwood laced with red berry fruit, spice, and some cedar; there's nice depth and it's quite elegant in a rather vibrant key. On the palate it's medium bodied and bright, with lively tart berry fruit supported by warm rather splintery tannins that flow into a warm fruit laced finish. Pleasant, and though it's a touch too tart to be drunk by the glass, it will work quite well with grilled meats or light stews, and will go quickly.
Tedeschi Capitel di Nicalò Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2006
The back label says "appassimento breve," in other words the grapes were dried briefly before they were pressed. It's deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with rich cherry laced with deft slightly greenish sandalwood spice and some hints of licorice root and sugar. Quite elegant in a slightly exotic key, and also quite young. On the palate it's full, and rich, with powerful greenish sandalwood laced berry fruit supported by deft acidity and clean rich smooth tannins. Very nice, and the palate confirms the youth of the nose; it will give much now but richly reward those who can give it 3-5 years. In short, a beautiful balance of fruit and acidity, with the acidity slightly to the fore, and this will make for a long life.
I also tasted a barrel sample of the 2007. It's quite elegant, and brasher, with more acidity (even taking into account its greater youth), and seems a little more nervous. Promises very well, and should age well too.
Tedeschi Capitel San Rocco Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso 2006
Lively black cherry ruby with black reflections and hints of almandine in the rim. The bouquet is rich, with warm red berry fruit laced with sandalwood and alcohol, with hints of licorice root and slight balsamic overtones. Very pleasant and one could sniff it at length; there's something sassy to it. On the palate it's full and rich with lively berry fruit supported by bright mineral and sour cherry acidity, and it all flows into a a clean bright sour berry fruit finish. Nice balance between fruit and acidity, with the acidity evident but not overwhelming, and though one could drink it now with succulent red meats it will richly reward those who can give it time. Worth seeking out if you're traditionally minded, and also if you're not.
I also tasted a barrel sample of the 2007; it's not as dry, and is pleasant, with rich fruit, and I found it a bit more approachable than the 2006. But perhaps less interesting, and less long lived.
Tedeschi La Fabriseria Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2006
Lively pigeon blood ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with red berry fruit supported by deft acidity and clean underbrush. Quite bright and very pleasant to sniff; the Italian word that comes to mind is schietto, which means lively and energetic. On the palate it's full, with bright berry fruit supported by lively cherry acidity laced with hints of sandalwood and sweetness, and by smooth sweet tannins that flow into a clean bright finish. It's like a well-muscled dancer who's light on her toes and can do things with ease that the rest of us (me, at least) can only dream of. Most impressive and will work very well with roasts (red meats) or stews, and will also age well for a decade at least. Impressive
The 2007 barrel sample is bright, with richer, more intense berry fruit and less acidity, and is also smoother and rounder. In other words, a bit more approachable, and less bright, though it does promise well. The difference isn't quite as evident as it is in the two vintages of San Rocco, but it is there.
Tedeschi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2005
Deep pigeon blood ruby with black reflections. The bouquet is rich, with berry fruit alced with sandalwood and alcohol, and bright acidity well supported by greenish accents. It's very young, and coming together, and though it's at the start of a long journey, it is nice. On the palate it's full, rich, and young, with lively underbrush and berry fruit supported by zesty greenish tannins that display a considerable peppery burr and flow into a clean warm finish with peppery overtones. It's a toddler at nursery school, and though one could drink it, it won't begin to show its potential for a few more years, say about 2012.
Tedeschi Capitel Monte Olmi Amarone della Valpolicella 2005
Impenetrable pigeon blood ruby. The bouquet is very, very young, and vegetal, with considerable red currant acidity and abundant red berry fruit. It's a toddler who's not happy about being disturbed, and wants to go back to play. But quite elegant in its youth, and promises well. On the palate it's rich, with powerful bright berry fruit supported by spicy acidity and tannins that display a lively burr and flow into a clean rich berry fruit finish. It displays great elegance, but is behind with respect to the basic Amarone, and though this is to be expected it also means that if you must drink a 2005 Tedeschi Amarone now, this isn't the one. It will be spectacular when it gets a ways into its journey but that will take a few years. Expect it to age for 10-15 and perhaps more.
2 stars (now)
Capitel Fontana Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico 2005
Impenetrable pyrope with violet rim. The bouquet is rich, with prune and forest berry fruit laced with vegetal accents, berry fruit jam, and clean fresh sweetness. Great depth, and a delight to sniff. On the palate it's rich, with deft date-prune fruit supported by deft sweetness and powerful, smooth soft tannins that have pleasant greenish overtones and flow into a smooth greenish sweet finish that continues at length. Graceful, and very pleasant to drink; the Romans made Recioto, and as we taste this one we understand while it still has its devotees today.
For more information about Tedeschi, visit their site.
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