2016 Tedeschi “Capitel Nicalò” Valpolicella Superiore, Veneto, Italy (Alcohol 13%, Residual Sugar 4g/L) LCBO Vintages $17.95 (750ml bottle)

Although it’s a little tough to talk about a “normal” vintage in Veneto these years (every second one seems like an anomaly these days!), the 2016 was seen by many as a more average vintage. A Goldilocks vintage, if you will…

This 30% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, and 10% Rossignola blend (as well as a few squirts of the more obscure Oseleta, Negrara, and Dindarella varietals) delivers for me each and every year, always speaking to the vintage, but also having a solid consistency from year to year, and always delivering pretty damn decent bang for your buck. There is some traditional Veronese dried grape action going on here for around a month, but that additional dry extract still makes for a superbly balanced glass of wine.

I was supposed to compile my tasting notes on this vintage last night, but got caught up in bedtime with our son, totally forgetting about my GFR obligations, so this morning have had to explain to my wife what I am doing walking around in pyjamas with a glass of red wine at 9am in the morning… echoes of Withnail, I feel.

The bouquet (once it warms up… it just came from the fridge) is decidedly vinous and intense, with aromas of deep, dark black fruits augmented by some pretty floral and dried herb perfumes that really lift the wine. This is aged for 12 – 18 months in large Slovenian oak barrels, and there’s a touch of that treatment present here both on the nose and on the dry and enjoyably full-bodied palate. The tannins have been well managed, as is the same each vintage, and the marked acidity that I find in almost every Tedeschi bottling is certainly present and correct. Tedeschi do such a bloody good job with this wine I’m going to bump it up a half apple for sheer consistency.

Although it drinks well today, this could easily  lie down for around a decade or so in my opinion, and so it’s obviously a steal at $17.95 for a reasonably lengthy cellar dweller.

4.5 apples out of 5
(Four and a half apples out of a possible five)


Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And this will be a great match for tonight’s bolognese.