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Cause for regret

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Bardolino Classico 2014, Tacchetto, Guerrieri Rizzardi ($19.50, 12132465)
Corvina (80%), Merlot (10%) and Rondinella (10%) from vines averaging five to 42 years old and grown in the dry-farmed Tachetto vineyard. The grapes are picked by machine and hand and destemmed. Fermentation at 25-30°C with selected yeasts lasts 10 to 15 days. Matured three to six months off the lees. Sees only stainless steel until bottling. Filtered. Reducing sugar: 3.8 g/l. 13% ABV. Quebec agent: Valmonti.
Lilting nose of funky cherry, fall leaves and sandalwood spice. In the mouth, it’s a featherweight, a caress of faintly sweet-and-sour fruit, fluid acidity and gossamer tannins that lend an ephemeral astringency to the finish. A light wash of mineral and wood flavours adds interest but not enough to stop you from thinking there’s not much there there. Serve lightly chilled. (Buy again? Probably not but… see below.)

While I didn’t taste them side by side, this 2014 initially seemed paler, sweeter and less alluring than the 2013, which I rather liked (“dry, tart, supple tannins, clean finish, moreish” per my May 2015 note). After Sunday dinner, I transferred the remaining wine into a half bottle (filling it right up), corked the bottle and stuck it in the fridge overnight. And lo, the wine was better the next day – slightly rounder and more vibrant, with the morello cherry to the fore – maybe even better enough to convince me to buy a second bottle.

And yet, as enjoyable as this and similar wines can be, I increasingly find drinking them a cause for regret – regret at what might have been. That point was driven home by a bottle of Ca’ de Noci‘s Sottobosco, a “natural” Lambrusco in everything but name, savoured the evening before I opened the Rizzardi. Though similar in weight and application, the Sottobosco delivered energy, refreshment, personality, engagement, charm and satisfaction that made the Bardolino pale in comparison. Imagine what the Tacchetto could be if the vineyard was farmed organically, if the yields were less than 85 hl/ha, if the grapes were picked only by hand, if native yeasts were used for fermentation, if intervention in the cellar was minimized, if the wine was bottled unfiltered and unsulphured. Unfortunately, at this point, imagine is all we can do.

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Written by carswell

November 27, 2015 at 13:27

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