2017 Roccolo Grassi Valpolicella Superiore
60% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina
Marco and Francesca Sartori continue to be at the top of their game and, somehow, still under the radar. Both their Valpolicella and Amarone are typically one of the top wines of the appellation. The Brother-and-sister team are the second generation to run the Roccolo Grassi winery, located outside of the Classico zone in Mezzane di Sotto. They tend to a total of 15 hectares according to organic practices. The family sources the fruit for their Amarone and Valpolicella from a high altitude site, planted in volcanic and basalt soils, a stony mix of red and black clay. This location is known for its cooler mesoclimate, the result of cooling air currents coming down from the Lessini Mountains, but also for a lower amount of precipitation, which is balanced by the vineyard’s water-retaining soils. The Amarone hails from vines averaging 45 years of age, while the younger vines under 25 years go into the Valpolicella. The Sartori family works to maintain a progressive and more savory style, yet still showcasing the richness obtained through appassimento. Both reds undergo maturation in a combination of new and aged barriques. The Valpolicella is unique in the region in that it uses 30% appassimento (air dried) grapes, and sees around 20 months in wood. Think of it as a more vibrant and energetic styled Amarone, no wonder it is the finest example you can buy. The Amarone itself is a powerhouse, but only sees 26 months in wood, which is low on average for the region. This is a good example of how they maintain such a beautifully fresh style.
What The Critics Say
94+/100 Vinous, Eric Guido
"Once again, I’m thoroughly impressed by the Roccolo Grassi Valpolicella Superiore. It’s pretty amazing that Marco Sartori can achieve a balance of depth and intensity that few producers can replicate. The Valpolicella is made using 30% appassimento grapes dried for twenty days. It's refined in a 50%-50% mix of large oak cask and barrique, of which only about 20% are new. When placed next to an Amarone (because it’s hard to compare this to other Valpolicella), it shows more energy and minerality, yet with a similar amount of power. As for the vintage, 2017 plays well with the Grassi style, yet make sure to open these wines well before tasting. The 2017 Valpolicella Superiore by Roccolo Grassi is a sleeping giant. It slowly awakens in the glass with a dark mix of herbal-tinged plums, cracked ashen stone, incense and dried flowers. This is silky verging on velvety, with a core of stimulating acidity that helps to enliven depths of ripe mineral-inflected red and black fruits as inner violet florals collect toward the close. The 2017 boasts a lovely inner sweetness to counterbalance the fine-grained tannins and primary concentration, as it finishes youthfully structured, leaving a hint of salted licorice to linger. The warmth of the vintage has added an extra dimension to the fruit here, yet some cellaring is still recommended to allow its aromatics to come fully into focus." Drink 2024 - 2032
|2024 - 2032
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