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Allegrini Valpolicella 2018 £14.95
The Allegrini family estate covers 100 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area. The family has been growing grapes here for six generations, but the estate in its current form was founded by Giovanni Allegrini. When he passed away in 1983, it passed to his three children, who ran it together until Walter's death in July 2003. Franco now looks after the vineyards and is the winemaker, and Marilisa is the director of marketing.
The south-east facing vineyards are located in the hills of the Valpolicella Classico region at 180-280 metres above sea level. The soil there is very varied but mostly chalky, of volcanic origin. The older vineyards are trained using the pergola Trentina system, planted with about 3,000 vines per hectare, whereas the newer ones use the single Guyot system with 5,000 plants per hectare. The vines are 35 years old on average.
This 2018 harvest was long, with slow ripening, and abundant, high-quality grapes. Spring was particularly wet and in early July, due to the considerable number of bunches, they carried out some thinning to restore the equilibrium of the vineyard. A dry period started in July, interspersed with some timely showers. In September, temperatures rose again, reaching highs of up to 33°C, but equally high fluctuations (even differences of 15°C between day and night), enabled the grapes to attain ideal ripeness. Phenolic maturity was achieved in the last third of September. The grapes were in healthy condition, with high quantities and quality.
The grapes were destemmed before soft-pressing, after which fermentation occurred at 25-31ºC in temperature-controlled stainless steel tanks. Fermentation lasted nine days after which the wine was held in stainless steel tanks until bottling in mid-February where it spent a further two months before release.
This Valpolicella is ruby red in colour, with youthful highlights. Fragrant fruit with prominent notes of dark cherries are echoed by fresher hints of pepper and aromatic herbs, typical of Corvina and its genetic cousin Corvinone, the historic varieties of this appellation. When young, this Valpolicella is impressively lively and playful on the palate and will express greater delicacy and finesse with two or more years of ageing.