Fresh, flowery and subtly tropical nose with ripe pears and a touch of wood smoke. The palate is attractively textured and juicy, showing zesty 'leesy' intensity and a hint of almonds. Richly-flavoured and concentrated with a crisp, incisive and mineral finish.
This 20 hectare estate in the commune of Monteforte D'Alpone in the very heart of the Soave Classico district is run by Graziano Pra. Universally regarded as one of a handful of world-class producers in Soave who have revitalised the region, Pra produce 5 wines based on Garganega, covering a wide spectrum of styles and flavours. The most celebrated is the opulent Monte Grande, awarded 'Tre Bicchieri' 5 years in a row. Arguably the intense, incisive, unoaked 'Staforte' takes the range to new heights but for us the most impressive achievement is the delicious 'basic' Soave Classico, described in the 2007 Gambero Rosso guide as 'an absolutely magnificent wine of which every wine enthusiast should have a few bottles tucked away'. In 2006 Graziano produced his first red wine from the Morandina vineyard in eastern Valpolicella, in the foothills of Monte Lessini. The Valpolicella was soon followed by an Amarone. The vineyard, 450 m above seal level, had never previously been cultivated - and is not treated with any chemicals.
The Garganega grapes grapes are grown on Pra's 14 hectare estate situated near the town of Monteforte d'Alpone in the Classico sub-zone. The South East facing vineyards are at 150 metres above sea level and the soil is volcanic. The vines are around 25 to 30 years old and the Pergola Veronese training system is used. Planting density is 3,500 vines per hectare and the average annual yield is 100 quintals per hectare. The grapes are generally harvested at some point between mid September to mid October.
The grapes are softly pressed and fermented at a controlled temperature (16 to 18 degrees Centigrade) in stainless steel vats. This helps to preserve freshness and aromas. Maturation takes place in tank on the lees until bottling in February of the following year to impart further complexity and flavours.
Good with a goats cheese, basil and roasted red pepper salad; asparagus or delicate fish sprinkled with lemon juice.
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