by Malcolm Jolley
2007 Piona ‘Campo Massimo’ Corvina Veronese IGT, Veneto, Italy $15.95 LCBO# 18154
Corvina is principal grape used in light fruity Valpolicella and its concentrated sisters that are made by drying harvested grapes: Amarone and other Ripasso method wines from the Veneto region of Northeast Italy. Canadians love Amarone and Ripasso wines, the LCBO in particular sells a lot of these often high alcohol and intense wines. But the Corvina grape crushed on its own (hence the designation Veronese IGT) retains a lovely dark red fruitiness as in Piona’s ‘Campo Massimo’: wine gummy black current and black raspberry finishes with the lightest touch of smoke and leather and a zip of black of pepper. This 100% Corvino is complex and remarkably well balanced, which makes it drink more like a wine priced twice its roughly $16 price tag. The Campo Massimo could be paired with anything typically matched with an Italian table red: red sauce or meat pasta, cheese and so on. But the bright acidity intertwined with minerality and spice calls for sometihng meaty and deep like a grilled steak with anchovy butter. Or old cheddar grilled cheese sandwich with a can of tomato soup.
NB: The 2007 Piona Campo Massimo came into the LCBO system in late November, but there’s still a fair amount left across Ontario as of this posting. Click here to find a store stocking near you.