Ca Dei Frati Ronchedone Vino Rosso 2014  £27.95


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CA DEI FRATI RONCHEDONE VINO ROSSO

The Dal Cero family has transformed their Ca' dei Frati property, situated on the southern shores of Lake Garda, into a model Italian estate over the past two decades. Back in 1987, they had 12 hectares of vineyard but now, following the purchase of a large chunk of prime vineyard in 2008, they have over 160 hectares. This increase in quantity has been matched by an increase in quality and today they remain the best producer in Lugana.

The grapes are grown in the Dal Cero family's own vineyards, Ronchedone and La Tür, which are located on the south banks of Lake Garda near the town of Sirmione. The vines for 'Ronchedone' are planted on chalky, limey and sandy clay soils, using single Guyot and cordon training. The yields were eight tonnes per hectare.

2014 was a surprising year. It was cool and wet, so careful work in the vineyard was the key. Those who worked hard in the vineyards and didn't crop too high made good wines with concentrated aromas and excellent acid levels.

Marzemino, an indigenous varietal grown mostly in northern Italy, plus Sangiovese are the main grapes for Ronchedone, together with a maximum of 10% of Cabernet Sauvignon. Maceration and fermentation took place in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks with extended skin contact. Malolactic fermentation took place in barrique where the wine remained for 14 months, followed by 10 months in bottle.

A deep, dark wine showing a vibrant, fruit-forward bouquet with aromas of ripe blueberries, freshly made jam, a touch of balsam and some herbal notes which follow through to the rounded, red and black fruit palate. The clean, savoury character is balanced with rounded tannins and a freshness on the finish which is typical of the area

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