The vintage: The vintage was marked by variable weather conditions in contrast with the seasonal trends of the past. During the flowering period, the temperature was lower than usual, indicating a poor fruitset, which resulted in loosely clustered bunches, ideal for maintaining an excellent state of health but less in terms of quantity. In spring, a long period of high temperatures and sunny days persisted, whereas the summer was fairly cool and rainy. The end of the summer and early autumn were dry and sunny featuring mild temperatures. This resulted in a notable concentration of aromatic substances in the grapes and a not so high amount of sugars. This allowed perfectly ripe and healthy grapes to be picked.
VARIETIES: 50% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella.
PRODUCTION DISTRICT: Selected vines in Gnirega, in the municipality of Marano, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico subzone.
ALTITUDE AND ASPECT: The vineyards face south-east and are situated at altitudes between 300 and 350 metres above sea level.
TYPE OF SOIL: Marly limestone
TRAINING SYSTEM: Most of the old plantings (over 30 years) are pergola and Guyot-trained.
HARVEST: Starting in late September, all the grapes are meticulously checked, but only the loosest, ripest, healthiest bunches with the best exposure to the sun are picked and placed in 6 kg boxes for transferral to the rooms adjoining the Illasi cellar. The natural drying process boosts the sugar, polyphenol and aromatic concentration of the grapes.
WINEMAKING METHOD: At the end of January, pressing is followed by prolonged primary fermentation at a maximum temperature of 20°C for over 30 days using only native yeasts.
AGEING: The wine is aged in barriques for the first 18 months and subsequently in large barrels, both of French oak, for a total of four years. It is further aged in bottle for around a year before release onto the market.
SENSORY PROFILE: Deep red with garnet nuances, a layered, persuasive, intense and all- embracing bouquet, textured with ripe plum and blackcurrant and cranberry jam, with echoes of orange zest, tealeaf and fancy biscuits not far behind. The caressing palate is round but equally vibrant with velvety tannins and pleasing acidity. The nose notes encore in a long, tasty finale.
ALCOHOL: 15.5% vol*
(* Depending on the year, the analytical values may vary slightly)
RECOMMENDED CELLARING: 8-10 years in bottle, laid down in a cool, dark place.
FOOD PAIRING: Red meats, game, mature cheeses.
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