The Tasting Panel magazine

June 2016

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 60 of 132

60  /  the tasting panel  /  june 2016 WINEMAKING TECHNIQUE T radition and historically great vineyard sites are not enough to keep wineries on top in today's market. That takes continuous improvement driven by innovation, hard work and an eagerness to evolve. Allegrini Wines has six generations of Veneto winemaking behind it. The bench- mark producer has 30 Tre Bicchieri to testify to its quality. But Allegrini is still getting better. Today, while some in Italy are taking a cautious approach, Allegrini is moving quickly to organic grape-growing. "It's about respect for the environment, the health of the soil and also about wine quality," CEO Marilisa Allegrini tells me. And, with a daughter who is a physician, she has the health of workers and consumers in mind too. But Allegrini's modernization of the Veneto started some 33 years ago with Giovanni Allegrini, Marilisa's father. First, he introduced tight vine-spacing and double Guyot trellising to the region where pergolas were still common. The Allegrini 2014 Valpolicella demonstrates the quality and concentration that the DOC's better wines now achieve, due to the more characterful fruit. Medium-bodied with a dusting of very fine tannins, the wine is still easy to drink. But it is also dry, complex and satisfying, full of black cherry, spice, sage and purple flowers. Even with Amarone, the Veneto's most famous red, Allegrini departed from tradition. Late harvests and tradi- tional, extended drying open the door to volatile acidity, rot and off-flavors. Even noble rot fosters oxidation. And the ripasso process of passing fresh wine through pomace can introduce bitter phenolics. To prevent rot and volatile acidity, Allegrini updated the drying regime with temperature control, large fans and dehu- midifiers. Instead of ripasso, Allegrini adds a second batch of raisined fruit. This initiates another fermentation, bolstering color, richness and soft tannins without bitterness. The wines are still finished in 100% new oak, but, for a more nuanced influence, only over-sized (550-liter) French barrels are used. Allegrini also cut back on the Rondinella grape component in favor of more Corvina Veronese. The end result is inky, dry and full-bodied with loads of plush, super-fine tannins. Ripe, spiced plum and dried flowers are accented by oak and raisin. The finish is very long, but clean. Still powerful, but food-friendly with fresher fruit flavors, no residual sugar and often less than 15% alcohol, the wine is very popular with today's high-end consumers. It is increasing sales for Amarone in the U.S., the region's most important market. Allegrini is imported by Lux Wines. The Evolution of Tradition ALLEGRINI WINES INNOVATES ITS WINEMAKING PROCESS TO PRODUCE STANDOUT OFFERINGS by Fred Swan Allegrini Wines' CEO Marilisa Allegrini believes success in the wine industry is "about respect for the environment, the health of the soil and also about wine quality." PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALLEGRINI WINES Allegrini Valpolicella Amarone.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Tasting Panel magazine - June 2016