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Guerrieri Rizzardi, Italy

© 2012 Tom Cannavan

rizzardi bottles Guerrieri Rizzardi is a wine-producing company based in the Veneto region of northern Italy. The company was formed by the union of two Veronese wine producing families: the Counts Guerrieri, owners of a centuries-old estate with vineyards and cellars in Bardolino, and the Counts Rizzardi, who acquired their vineyards in 1678. Today the company is under the ownership of the Rizzardi family, with vineyards in the four Classico areas producing Valpolicella, Bardolino, Soave and Valdadige.

All Guerrieri Rizzardi's grapes come from estate vineyards, and each appellation has its own cellars for vinification. I have received a number of samples of the wines over recent months, and thought the easiest thing to do was to gather them together in this short overview of three of the estate's Classico wines.

the wines

Guerrieri Rizzardi, Soave Classico 2009, Italy
Guerrieri Rizzardi's Soave blends a little Chardonnay with the local Garganega and Trebbiano varieties, coming from hilly, volcanic soils in the Soave district. It has an appealing nose, the Chardonnay adding a layer of creamy, more obviously tropical fruit to the nose, hinting at pineapple and tarte tatin. On the palate this is fairly full, with a nice creamy texture, the much more classical and crisp apple and citrus tones coming through strongly. There's good acidity, and although this has only 12.5% alcohol, it is dry, concentrated and powerful. 87/100. Around £14.00, see all stockists on wine-searcher.com

Guerrieri Rizzardi, Chiaretto Bardolino Rosé Classico 2010, Italy
The vineyards for this cranberry-coloured blend of Corvina, Rondinello, Molinara and Sangiovese enjoy the mild climate around the shores of Lake Garda. The nose offers delicate smells of the summer: rosehip and cranberry, redcurrant and raspberry. There's a tiny note of herbs and straw too, and onto the palate the wine has a very dry, very elegant and food-friendly style, the small red berried fruits still keen, with their acidity and dry flavours, and the finish very fresh, just giving a hint of lemon. 88/100. Around £13.00, see all stockists on wine-searcher.com

Guerrieri Rizzardi, Valpolicella Classico 2009, Italy
Traditional local grapes Corvina, Rondinello and Molinara are supplemented by a splash of Merlot in this cuvée. With only 12% alcohol it is a Valpolicella in the leaner, classic style, where notes of dry cherry and cranberry fruit meet a touch of earthiness and leather. This is unoaked, serious and savoury stuff, where you can feel the tradition in the wine, where the finish is sinewy, lean and lemony. A fine example of Valpolicella in a style some may call old-fashioned, others elegantly traditional. 88/100. Around £12.00, see all stockists on wine-searcher.com