Caterina Zardini Valpolicella, 2005
Last night we had a fantastic dinner at La Medusa Restaurant, in the Columbia City area of Seattle. We brought a bottle of this highly acclaimed wine from Giuseppe Campagnola winery located in the Veneto region of Italy. In Italy, there is a publication called the GAMBERO ROSSO that rates all Italian wines. This Caterina Zardini Valpolicella, Classico Superiore, was awarded Tre Bicchieri, or "three glasses", which is awarded to only the top wines in a given year. This wine is made from 60% Corvina and Corvinone and 40% Rondinella. The hand picked grapes are allowed to air dry for 20 days prior to crushing. This wine has an explosive aroma with dark cherry, black licorice, tar and burnt almonds. After the wine was opened for about an hour, we were delighted by the additional aroma of lychee and orange peel. The color is dark garnet red, nearly opaque. There is an explosion of activity in the mouth with smooth, but gripping tannins and crisp acidity. This is a medium to full bodied wine with a delicious mix of tart black cherries, tar, licorice and tobacco all wrapped up in a velvet curtain. The wine is well balanced and elegant with an extremely long and satisfying finish. In any given year, there are a few wines that really blow us away, and this is one of them. This wine should cellar well for up to 10 years, but with only one bottle still in our cellar, we will need strong self-control to allow it to "stay- put" for that length of time! We bought this wine from Wines from Italy for about $25. A great Valpolicella to add to your list.