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Gruppo Italiano Vino, Italy

© 2009 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Gruppo Italiano Vino.

BOLLA CELLARS, VENETO

Bolla, Pinot Grigio IGT delle Venezie 2008
Grapes from Veneto, Friuili and Trentino, but made in a 'Trentino style' - fresh and bright. A little reductive, but opens to show gently leafy, crunchy apple fruit. The palate is fresh and lemony, with a little yellow plum flesh, but mostly the brisk citrus flavours and nice, bright acidity. 85/100

Bolla, Soave Classico DOC 2008
Garanega and Trebbiano, hand harvested and fermented 'sur lie'. Goes through malolactic to further soften the wine. Nice fresh nose, with lemon and a touch of lime, and a little touch of nuttiness. Nice rich mouthfeel, with an immediately dry, pithy grapefruit character. The inherent sweetness and lemony zest of the fruit it there, but this has a nicely-judged, food-friendly savour and just a hint of spice in the finish. 87/100.

Bolla, Tufaie Soave Classico 2008
A blend of Trebbiano and Garganega from a special selection of grapes chosen for their aromatics. The wine is called Tufaie because of Tufa (volcanic) vineyard soils which Bolla believes brings minerailty to the wine. There is indeed a lovely, wet river stone minerality on the nose, with ripe pear fruit. Seems very ripe and quite full, but it has a delightful lemony, zesty finish with real grip and vivacious punch, and smoky, almost Alsacienne style. 90/100.

Bolla, Valpolicella Classico DOC 2008
Corvina 60%, Rondinella 30%, other local grapes 10%. Dusty, very slightly vegetal and green notes, with cherry fruit. Fruity, red fruits and cherry palate, dry, but slightly anonymous. Nice savoury tannin and acidity, with a hint of spice though a slightly harsh finish. 84/100.

Bolla, Valpolicella Classico DOC Ripasso 'Le Poiane' 2006
Corvina 70%, Rondinella 30%, given a 'third' fermentation using the ripasso method, re-fermenting on Amarone skins. Spends 18 months in oak, both large casks and barrels. Markedly different wine, with concentrated black fruits, a hint of stewed prunes and of chocolate. The mouth is rich and grippy, with lots of tobacco and cherry fruited sweetness, but a concentrared palate with nicely roughening tannins and good acidity, keeping this edgy and long, finishing with a bit of spice and cedary grip. 89/100.

Bolla, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 2005
Corvina 60%, Rondinella 30%, other local grapes 10%, all dried in boxed before fermentation. This cuvee all in steel. That slightly animal, sweaty note (they say 'mineral'), but spices and nice cherry fruit comes through, with a certain creaminess. This is a dry wine, the rich, thick palate filled with a leathery density, and the bold, plumy fruit staying dense and fleshy. The tannins are quite chocolaty and rich, with a smooth appeal, but again the freshness is good with fine acidity and a bit of tight, sinewy grip and structure. 89/100

Bolla, Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC 'Le Origini' 2006
A careful selection of the best Corvina (70%) and Rondinella (30%), selected in the vineyard and then further selected the winery. Made and aged in large wooden casks (picture, right). Lots of tobacco, coffee and chocolate here, with developed violet and floral notes and ripe pear: very complex and alluring. The palate is a showstopper, with massive concentration and impact (15.5% alcohol), and deep plumy fruit, liquorice and lots of coffee. Silky tannins and very good freshening acidity again, in a terrific Amarone that's a classic of its style. 93/100

Bolla, Capo di Torbe Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2004
A very careful selection from the cru vineyard Capo di Torbe, around 5000 bottles only. All new French oak. Released only after 3 years or more in cellar - so this 2004 is the current vintage. Just a lovely wine, with bloody, gamy notes to ripe, rich, plummy fruit with lovely subtle spice and cedary notes. Terrific mouthfeel too: fleshy and ripe, with sweet fruit offset by excellent tannin and acid balance. 93/100

Bolla, Recioto della Valpolicella 2006
Such natural concentration of late-harvest grapes that fermentation stops when still some sugar left, giving this sweet-edged red wine. From old vineyards and again a careful selection of Corvina and Croatina. Beautiful nose, lots of seductive, earthy and even slighy animal aromas with sweet cherry fruit. The palate has that lovely, effortless sweetness with coffee and deep red fruit amd silky tannins. Intense and concentrated, the acidity stays beautifully fresh. 93/100

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