Saturday, January 15, 2011

Folonari, Valpolicella D.O.C.

the Dolomites

One could easily be confused if one thought this view was the view from somewhere in BC; Whistler perhaps? Pemberton? In fact it is from the northern part of Italy in the area known as Veneto. We here in North America are most familiar with Venetos most famous city: Venice.

     Well I'm not going to talk about Venice, but I am going to talk about something soft, lush, and faintly romanticfrom that same region: the Valpolicella D.O.C.

     Well Valpolicella is capable of greatness... just ask anyone who has ever has a beautifully aged Amarone. But just because it is capable, that doesn's mean that it always achieves.

      Unfortunately for wine-lovers (in some respects), there are few regulations in Valpolicella that do anything to minimize the yields in the vineyard. Quite the opposite, the lands to the North and West of Venice are composed of incredibly fertile volcanic soil and this is the regions cash-cow. Thus, regulations in the area in fact do their utmost to maximize yields from the vineyards. While this does indeed achieve the short-term goal of creating income and taxes, it does little in the long term to set this beautiful land apart from other parts of the world working towards the same goal.

     One would think, in the light of the emergence of the South American wine market, that winemakers in Europe would be working their utmost towards trying to make a wine that spoke more about its terroir rather then less. Why make a wine that could (almost) be from anywhere? What's the incentive for the purchaser? But I digress...

     Folonari vineyards has been in operation under the Folonari family since 1825. The guiding principle (according to the website) seems to be one of "making wine approachable; both in price and in drinkability". Well - it certainly seems as though they have succeeded.

2008 Folonari Valpolicella D.O.C.
Veneto, Italy
65% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 10% Molinara
12.5% ABV, $19 CAD    **Decent Value**
  • visual:   clean; deep ruby core paling to cherry rim
  • nose:     clean; moderately intense youthful and monotone aromas of bright red berries such as cherry, strawberry, some rhubarb and red candy
  • palate:   clean, 0 dryness, moderate+ to full crabapple acids, moderate slightly green and grippy tannins, moderate body, moderate+ ABV, moderate+ intense youthful, fresh, vibrant flavors mimicking the nose; cherry, raspberry, red candy. Fairly well balanced, average quality structure, average finish
  • conclusion:   If you buy this - drink it now because aging won't do a thing to improve it. Want to improve it? Serve it with food.
  • PAIRS WITH:   Cheap table wine pairs with cheap table food... home-made burgers, pizza, pasta bolognese... perhaps it would be more fair to say that simple table wines pair best with simple table food
     So not a wine to learn anything really about Veneto, but a decent example of Veneto styled table wine. Inexpensive - it will pair with almost any food you're serving - just pair it with something... the acids really do start to punch out of the bottle after awhile.

CIN-CIN ~!!!   SLAINTE ~!!!   CHEERS ~!!!

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