Caterina Zardini Valpolicella, Classico Superiore, 2006
Last night was the 82nd annual Academy Awards and we had a small party as we lounged in front of the big screen to watch the handing out of the Oscars. There are a few food items that have become traditional, such as strawberries and Chinese BBQ Pork, but other finger foods come and go throughout the years. The food theme turned more Italian as I decided to fire-up the wood burning pizza oven and crank out some tasty treats.
To accompany our pizza party, I decided to open a bottle of a 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. The 2005 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 bottle is from the 2006 vintage and has been in our cellar for the past year.
The 2006 Caterina Zardini 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. The wine has a lovely deep ruby color with purple hues. This wine has wonderful aromas with dark cherry, black raspberry, tobacco and summer rain. This is a medium to full bodied wine with a voluptuous mouth-feel with smooth tannins and gentle acidity. It is a delicious mix of ripe black cherries, plum, chocolate, clove 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 once again, the Caterina Zardini succeeds. I would award this lovely Valpolicella an Oscar for “Best Supporting Role” at an Oscar party! We bought this wine from Wines from Italy for about $25.