Friday, April 13, 2012

Tasted at Vinitaly: Lorenzo Begali

Lorenzo Begali is an old friend of Elisabetta Fagiuoli's, and I was fortunate enough to meet him and his family many years ago when he invited Elisabetta and Sergio to dinner the last night of Vinitaly, and I tagged along. It was a memorable meal, and at the end of it I found myself jotting down recipes, which you will find listed here.

I have since made a point of keeping an eye out for his wines, and am quite glad that I stopped at his stand to taste this year.

Lorenzo Begali Valpolicella Classico 2011

Lot 20 131
Deep black almandine with brownish black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is intense, with bright berry fruit supported by peppery spice and greenish acidity that mingle with slight animal accents and fairly bright acidity. Zesty. On the palate it's light and deft, with bright light cherry fruit supported by some greenish accents, fairly bright strawberry acidity, and by tannins that have a warm slightly greenish burr and flow into a warm slightly greenish strawberry laced finish. A simple lark of a wine that you will need a second bottle of because the first will just go.
2 stars

Lorenzo Begali La Cengia Valpolicella Classico Superiore Ripasso 2010

Lot 20 130
Deep black cherry ruby with black reflections and cherry rim. The bouquet is intense,with ith berry fruit supported by sandalwood and some vegetal accents, and by pleasing mentholated spice with hints of licorice root as well; it has a zesty electric feel to it and is very much on its toes. On the palate it's bright, with lively sour cherry fruit supported by bright slightly greenish cherry acidity and by tannins that are ample and clearly display the substance they drew from the Amarone marks, while the zest notes on the nose is present but not excessive, A finely balanced wine that will go very well with roasts or stews. A second bottle will come in handy.

Lorenzo Begali Tigiolo Rosso Veornese IGT 2008

Lot 10 721
This is a blend of Corvina and Cabernet, with considerably lesser amounts of Rondinella and Merlot, set to dry until November and then pressed. It's deep slightly purple ruby with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is fairly intense, with greenish vegetal accents mingled with some chalk and peppery spice, and moderate mentholated accents. There's less fruit to it, and more minerality, and this is the international half of the blend coming to the fore. On the palate it's brighter, with ripe prune cherry fruit supported by dusky slightly vegetal accents and by tannins that are warm and peppery, and flo9w into a smooth sweet slightly vegetal finish. By comparison with the ripassa there's considerably less acidity, and while it is pleasant I found it less interesting.
2 stars

Lorenzo Begali Amarone Classico Della Valpolicella 2008

Lot 10 721
Deep black almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is still very young, with prune cherry fruit supported by pleasant greenish vegetal accents and underlying spice. A lot going on, and very young. On the palate it's ample and quite smooth, with rich prune cherry fruit supported by deft greenish vegetal accents and some sandalwood, and also slight leaf tobacco, and by tannins that are fairly smooth, though they still need time to settle and smooth. It's quite pleasant in an unfinished way, and if you happen upon one or more bottles you should exercise patience, because while you could drink and enjoy it now, you will enjoy it considerably more in 5-10 years. In short, a babe that needs to grow.
2 stars

Lorenzo Begali Ca Bianca Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2007

111 28
They changed the labels in 2003 because people confused the Cà Bianca with their Amarone base. Deep almandine with black reflections and almandine rim. The bouquet is rich, and a head above the base, with sweetish prune fruit laced with sandalwood and licorice root, and with pleasing spice as well; it's very young yet, and though it shows the promise a gifted child might, it's quite obvious that it has a ways to go. On the palate it's full, with rich prune fruit supported by deft licorice root laced spice and tannins that will be smooth, but now have a splintery licorice root laced burr, and flow into a long licorice root laced finish. It's a toddler, and a pleasant one -- no tantrums here -- but still of that age, and while you could drink the wine now, it will richly reward you if you give it the time it needs to grow up. I would figure a decade or more.

Lorenzo Begali Recioto della Valpolicella Classico 2009

Lot 11 031
Pyrope with violet rim. Poured ink. The bouquet is intense and sweet, with rich prune fruit supported by slight sandalwood and pleasant greenish accents with underlying greenish warmth and some pleasant spice. A lot going on, and frankly voluptuous. On the palate it's full and sweet, with powerful prune fruit supported by warmth and prune acidity, and also by sweet slightly greenish tannins that have some sandalwood accents, and flow into a long warm prune laced finish with bright prune acidity to hold it up, and pleasing sweetness for balance. A beautiful Recioto that will add magic to a selection of cheeses, or be perfect to sip far from the table with friends (while waiting for the Amarone to mature).

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