From Trentino in the north of Lake Garda, where we went for our last wine review (Bossi Fedragotti, Pinot Grigio 2010), we now move to the south of the lake, to the far east of Lombardy, where the vineyards and vinery Ca' Dei Frati are. The size of Lake Garda largely defines the climate conditions that can be considered maritime to a certain extent, which has a consequence of having significant influence on the raw material and final product.
Almost Mediterranean climate (in the region along the lake you will easily find cypresses and palms, one of the main characteristics of the Mediterranean climate), as a consequence of a great water mass in the vicinity, can be credited for alleviating sudden changes in temperature, enabling later aging varieties to have almost ideal cultivation conditions. One of them is the authentic Marzemino (harvested in mid-October) that makes the basis of the wine we tasted, while the rest is made of Sangiovese and 10 percent of Cabernet Sauvignon. Marzemino is most respected (although it is fairly little known in wider global circles) because of its ability to relatively quickly reach an optimal “age”.
As with other wines from this winery, the bottle is massive and has a coat of arms in relief on the shoulder (we presume it is the crest of family Dal Cero who owns the vinery). In general, it reminds of a Burgundy bottle, but with a slightly lower body, making it impossible to place into the standard size shelves of smaller wine coolers.
The wine in the glass seems thick, mostly thanks to the compact and very clear garnet hue. It is interesting that not more than a year spent in small barrels, the wine has not assumed the dominant oak note. It is present only as a soft, background aroma of smoke and sweet spices. Thanks to this moderation, the foreground has preserved the aromas of dark cherry and plum, and very interesting notes of violets and hyacinth (we have never had this kind of association).
The wine is mildly spicy in the mouth, with a very delicious beginning. Some people might have a problem with the quantity of otherwise well integrated tannins. It has a medium body, but thanks to the play of tannins and fruitiness, you will get an impression that the dry fruit foam floats in your mouth. Despite the firmness, as a consequence of rich and abundant tannins that leave a dry impression on the tongue and palate, the wine is rather harmonious and soft, mostly thanks to the residue of unfermented sugar that was successfully “masked”, and high 15 percent of alcohol by volume. The aftertaste has a herbal-fruity note, and can be measured in minutes.
This is a wine with many layers of aroma and flavor, with moderate complexity. It will be excellent for all sorts of ceremonies.
This wine can be purchased in Vivat Fina vina wine boutique.
Best paired with:
meat lasagna, beef under the lid, grilled red meat