2021 Pieropan, `La Rocca` Soave Classico, 6x750ml
The soil of La Rocca is unique in Soave being a limestone outcrop in a sea of basalt. Single vineyard made solely from Garganega grapes, this has pure aromas of almonds and honey, with an intense, concentrated palate.
Availability: In stock
Case size: 6 / Bottle size: 750ml
Critics Score: 93
Publication: Eric Guido, Vinous
Drinking Dates: 2025-2033
Pieropan's estate covers 58 hectares of vineyard which are situated on the stony hills of Soave Classico. The Pieropan family has been producing wines in Soave since the 1890s. Indeed, they were the first producer to bottle a wine with the name Soave on the label in the early 1930s. Nino Pieropan took over from his father in 1970 and was the first producer in Soave to make a single-vineyard wine, 'Calvarino', in 1971. Nino's two sons, Andrea and Dario, took over the running of the estate in 2017 when Nino fell ill and before he passed away in April 2018. From the 2015 vintage onwards, all Pieropan wines are organically certified.
The grapes were grown in the vineyard of 'La Rocca', which takes its name from the adjacent medieval castle and fortress ("La Rocca") that dominate the town of Soave, just east of Verona. The soil in La Rocca is unique in Soave in that it is a limestone outcrop (the same soil as in Valpolicella Classico) in a sea of basalt. Because of this soil, the family feels they get sufficient ripeness in the Garganega to make a wine solely from this variety.
After gentle, whole-bunch pressing, there was a short period of maceration on the skins followed by fermentation at 20ºC in stainless steel tanks and 500 litre oak casks. 60% of the wine remained in 500-litre oak casks while the remaining 40% was aged in 2,000 litre 'botti' or large barrels for one year. The wine was then aged for four months in bottle before release.
The 2021 vintage was of excellent quality, with 25% less production than 2020. The season started mild and dry, followed by abundant rainfall in December which helped build up water reserves. Prolonged below-average temperatures over the spring caused slow and stunted bud burst, followed by high temperatures in June which necessitated emergency irrigation in some vineyards. The variability of the weather in July affected flowering and fruit set, but August and early September proved much more stable, with warm and dry conditions that allowed the grapes to ripen fully prior to harvest.