Pieropan, Soave Classico (Veneto, Italy) La Rocca 2014

($35): Soave is back.  Wines from this northeastern part of Italy used to rank with Chianti as America’s favorite Italian wine.  Predictably, as popularity rose, quality slipped and Soave was all too often an innocuous white wine.  No longer.  Producers focused on quality have returned Soave to its rightful place in the world of wine.  The Soave Consorzio, the group representing the region, has identified 50+ unique vineyard sites or “cru” and those names are appearing on labels.  Well before the Consorzio’s efforts, Pieropan, one of Soave’s top producers, identified two unique vineyards, La Rocca and Calvarino, from which they produce single vineyard wines.  La Rocca produces such structured and concentrated wine that Pieropan can age it briefly in oak barrels, which adds complexity without imparting any hint of oakiness — you feel the affect of oak without tasting it.   The extraordinary zestiness in the finish keeps you coming back for another sip.  Try it with a linguine and clam sauce.
92 Michael Apstein May 2, 2017