Zenato Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2015

Strawberry fields forever, soft rose petals and vibrant simplicity in a wine that’s approachable and at the same time beautifully refined. Bright, lively ruby colour with violet reflections, delicate and inviting aromas of fresh strawberries, cherries and cranberry with rose petal accents framed by warm spices of vanilla and cinnamon, soft and fresh on the palate with medium-high acidity, timid tannins and a silky, light body, incredibly balanced with a smooth, elegant finish.

Food pairings: This is an easy drinking wine with versatility which could accompany simple, every day dishes such as soups, pasta dishes and white meat. Some examples include butternut squash soup, grilled chicken with sautéed vegetables, cordon blu or pasta fagioli (pasta with beans).

The Zenato family enjoying lunch in their vineyards
The Zenato family enjoying lunch in their vineyards

The Zenato winery is a second-generation, family owned producer with vineyards in Valpolicella Classico and Lugana wine regions in Veneto, Italy. Sergio Zenato started the winery in 1960, and it is now run by his wife, Carla, and their two children Alberto and Nadia. In Valpolicella, alongside this wine, they also produce noteworthy Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto wines. Although it is a relatively young winery for the region, it is loved by critics with numerous national and international awards including points in the 90s from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and James Suckling.

Zenato’s Valpolicella Classico Superiore is a blend of 85% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 5% Corvinone. The grapes are handpicked and fermented in steel vats with maceration for 10 days. The wine is then separated from the grape skins and aged in large oak barrels for about one year.

Corvina grapes harvested at Zenato Winery
Corvina grapes harvested at Zenato Winery

The vineyards at Zenato Winery In Valpolicella Classico

The vineyards at Zenato Winery in Valpolicella Classico

Valpolicella’s name is believed to derive from “Le valle delle mille cantine“, translating to The valley of a million cantinas. In fact, the region of Veneto is first in Italy for quantity of wine produced as well as quality. While the recent craze for Prosecco has brought this region to the forefront in Italian wine exports, Valpolicella, alongside Bardolino and Soave in the province of Verona, has produced some of the best wines in Italy for centuries, making such wines as Recioto, Amarone, and Soave symbols of Italian viticulture.

The bold austerity and complexity of Amarone ranks it amongst some of the most important red wines in the world, however it shares humble origins with its simple, easy drinking sibling, Valpolicella. Both wines are produced from the same grapes which are indigenous to the area: principally Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella, sometimes supported in minimal parts by Molinara, Rossanella and Oseleta.

Grapes used in the production of Valpolicella, Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto
Grapes used in the production of Valpolicella, Ripasso, Amarone and Recioto

These grapes are also used in the production of Ripasso and Recioto, which are equally distinct from the others, contributing to the diverse potential and character of the 4 red wines from this area. While Recioto is a sweet wine made from dried grapes, Amarone a dry wine made from dried grapes, and Ripasso a dry wine made partially from dried grapes, Valpolicella is the pure, unadulterated expression.

I was skeptical of this wine, perhaps even prejudiced given I tend to prefer bold, full bodied red wines, but I must admit that when simplicity is achieved with elegance and charm, the result is captivating.

15 Comments

    1. I made it especially flowery for you 🤣 joking of course. The first line are merely my impressions of the wine and the images it brought up, purely personal… may I ask you to consider those first few words as a written expression of my experience just as the artwork is a visual one?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Why not? Why can words not be visual, or tactile, or so on? What’s poetry if it is only the written words on paper? I don’t call myself a poet or storyteller, but I do think that if I were to describe wine in technical terms only it wouldn’t be an exhaustive definition, you still may not agree with me, and it may indeed be considered affectation in its own right. I’m approaching it with the idea that wine tasting involves all our senses.

        Like

      2. Words CAN be visual when the language of the particular word in interpreted personally. I bet that the word “stream” conjures up different images in each of our minds, never mind the different definitions of that word. I can’t wait for you to meet Champa and try “word imagery” with her, as our two children used to say … “my mums from outer space”! I think you need to have a look at Kelly’s Personal Construct Theory …. just for fun. 😇

        Liked by 1 person

      3. A good extreme example. Stopped following him/her 2 years ago. Utter garbage that gives me no insight to a wine or winemaker, but plenty of interest into someone who is fond of his own voice! Sorry ….. you did ask!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I liked him at the beginning because it looked incredibly creative, but you’re right, he does seem awfully fond of himself and his opinions. But if you’re into that, it does offer a different way to experience wine.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Nah, he’s writing for the wine industry and personal marketing! By the way, as well as Kelly Personal Construct Theory you might like a dabble at the “pseudo psychology” behind “Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic” learning or interpretation styles. I am a 95% Visual human being ….. don’t like words and have almost no feelings 😂😂 Go figure! And …. check yer emails!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Personal construct theory looks very interesting, and sounds familiar. I’ll have to look into it more, but does it suggest that there’s an absolute reality that our personal constructs distort? I use those learning styles in my teaching! They say that you tend to teach others with your learning style as that’s how you yourself make sense of things, so it’s interesting to try and teach in a different way than you would learn. I’m supposedly visual-kinaesthetic, but I’m always smack dab in the middle with these kinds of tests. I love words and I love images!

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Ah, I should have realised you’d use VAK in teaching, it’s very useful in that sense, but in the 1980-1990s NLP was touted as a psychological behaviour modification and influencing tool to be used by salespeople! Regarding PCT I don’t think our personal constructs distort anything! They are our own reality, how we see the world continuously in bipolar constructs. So, you look at wallpaper and think it’s a “warm colour” but I think it’s “cold” opposite end of the pole. There is no absolute reality.

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I never thought there was an absolute reality, at least not in terms of what the subjectivity of our observation will allow for, which means it’s my prerogative to use imagery in describing wine, and yours to dislike it. On a side note, in my training for teaching English as a foreign language we explored diverse ways of creating meaningful connections to words including relating each word in a set of vocabulary to the different senses. Interesting overlap!

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s