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Producer: Alpha ZetaGrape Varieties: 100% GargenegaOptimum Drinking: Within 3 yearsWine Style: Dry fruity crisp with a hint of nuttinessAlcohol by Volume: 12.5%Closure: ScrewcapCountry: Italian
Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines set out to produce a range of modern, fruit driven wines from the hills outside Verona. Working with leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, their aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt's expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.
Garganega is the principal grape of Soave. The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress helping to produce superior quality fruit.
The 2016 harvest was quite similar to 2015, with a cold winter and abundant rainfall. The beginning of the growing season was characterised by the alternation of dry and rainy periods, which allowed for perfect vine development. The following hot and dry summer led to an abundant harvest with healthy grapes.
The grapes were hand harvested, destemmed, crushed and chilled on the way to the press with no sulphur addition. The juice was naturally settled and after racking, cultured yeasts were added to initiate fermentation, which took place at 12-14°C. These relatively low fermentation temperatures help preserve the fresh fruit character of the grapes. 20% of the must was fermented in large format oak to add another layer of complexity. The wine was then held in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks on fine lees until bottling.
Bright, pale lemon in colour with a fresh, aromatic nose with perfumes of almond blossom and a touch of acacia. On the palate, the Garganega is lively and crisp, with a delicate honey and almond character and a clean, zesty finish with a twist of lime.
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