Mon 6 Dec 2010
With a pasta Bolognese, I opened a bottle of the Sartori di Verona Regolo 2007, Rosso Veronese. Sartori is one of those old companies — it was founded in 1898 — that undergoes a transformation by bringing in an outsider to shake things up, the figure in this case being consulting winemaker Franco Bernabei, hired in 2003. Bernabei reduced yields, usually the first step a consulting winemaker takes, and launched a thorough examination of all 16,540 acres — that’s a lot of vines — under Sartori’s control, the point being to see what vineyards produced the best grapes and how the sites were matched to appropriate grape varieties. He also, in collaboration with Andrea Sartori, initiated several new wines, one of which is Regolo. Unlike most Valpolicella wines, this is not a blend but made from 100 percent corvina grapes, hence the Rosso Veronese designation. In February after harvest, the wine enters the traditional ripasso stage, in which it rests — “passes again” — on the lees of Amarone wines, after which it aged 18 to 24 months in medium to large oak casks; no fashionable barriques used here.
The Sartori Regolo 2007 displays a dark ruby color almost unto opacity with a bluish-purple rim. The bouquet bursts with notes of violets, plums, tar and black and red currants, with an undertow of potpourri, and the whole package displays a lovely intensity of dusty slate, smoke, cloves, lavender and wild blueberry. Reining-in the delirious sensuousness — I mean it really is appealing — is a more sober-minded aspect of robust but not rustic tannins and a sheen of polished oak, lending the wine both suppleness and purpose, while it gains increased shale- and granite-like minerality and a touch of tannic austerity on the finish. This will drink nicely through 2013 to ’14 with braised meat dishes and hearty pastas. 13.5 percent alcohol. Very Good+. About $19.
VB Imports, Old Brookville, N.Y. A sample for review.