Casalforte, Valpolicella, Veneto (bottle price £14)
The name Valpolicella is thought to be a mix of Latin and ancient Greek, and translates to “valley of many cellars.” The region’s revered red wines are diverse, spanning four styles: dry, epic Amarone; the spicy cherry charms of Valpolicella Ripasso; sweet Recioto; and lively, accessible Valpolicella. This 240-square-kilometer area in northern Italy’s Veneto region is located in the foothills of the Alps, which provide its northern border, and in and around the descending valleys of the Lessini Mountains.
The region lies on calcareous, limestone- and clay-rich soils, and hills climbing upward of more than 1300 feet above sea level. (The Empire State Building stands 1250 feet tall, not including its spire). By law, Valpolicella DOC wines must be made using 45-95% Corvina. The Casalforte in our opinion is a fantastic representation of the region. It has a beautiful balance to the wine with the dark cherry flavours coming through but backed up by a luscious weight and not too alcoholic or tannic.