Wine of the Week: 2017 Soave Classico ‘Monte Fiorentine’, CA’ RUGATE, Veneto, Italy 
$27.99 / bottle (Consignment, 6 btls/cs)

Need a go-to summer white? It just hit our shores (warehouse). Ca’ Rugate is new to our portfolio and is one of the very best producers in the Veneto. The business has been in the family for over a hundred years, started by Amedeo ‘Mideo’ Tessari at the turn of the 20th century. Originally they grew plums, peaches, olives, and grapes, which they sold at the local market. They started making wine in the fifties and in 1986 released the first vintage bottled under their own label. Ca’ Rugate takes its name from the Rugate hill where the winery is located in Monteforte d’Alpone. Michele Tessari, the fourth generation, took over operations in 2001 and began a modernization project. He purchased over 30 acres in Valpolicella and designed a new winery that opened its doors in 2002. In 2004, Michele banned the use of all pesticides in the vineyards. 

This is not the diluted Soave that flooded the shelves in the eighties. Soave got a bad name once for producing bland wines that lacked character. These were mostly produced by the local co-op using massively over-cropped fruit from the flat vineyards surrounding the region’s hilly center. This Monte Fiorentine shows what Soave should taste like. It’s a single-vineyard wine from a top hillside site. It’s 100% Garganega (the appellation only requires 70% and blends often include Trebbiano) from 50-year-old vines grown in dark basalt volcanic soils. The wine is harvested late, often well into October, and is fermented in stainless steel to produce a mid-weight fruity wine with mineral complexity.

Review: Medium body and broad across the mid-palate with a slightly waxy texture. This is a beautiful wine, both fleshy and crisp with concentrated notes of lemon curd, zest, sea salt and chamomile. This is irresistible now and will get more complex after a year or two in bottle

by Michelle Desroches,

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