This coming weekend sees us in Washington DC alongside all 11 fellow members of the Amarone Families. Our wines will be on tasting in the morning in the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel as part of the National Italian American Foundation’s (NIAF) 40th Anniversary Gala Weekend. The wines will be on tasting (in our case Villa Rizzardi Amarone Classico 2009) from 1:30pm to 3:00pm.

On the evening of Saturday the 17th approximately a thousand guests will attend the NIAF’s gala dinner, the dinner will be accompanied exclusively by wines from the Amarone families and it is sure to be a memorable evening.

Following this we will be present and pouring Calcarole Amarone Classico 2009 on Sunday the 18th in the Italian Embassy, Washington from 11:30 to 5pm. It promises to be a busy weekend and a great showcase for our Amarone

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In Negrar we have reached the end of the selection of the grapes for the Amarone, all organised in boxes in our drying rooms.
The grapes were harvested between September 1st and September 18th, with perfect weather conditions: sunny, dry and warm.
Last year, as an example of a completely different vintage, especially because of the climate during spring and summer, we started the grape selection on September 18th!
This year, 2015, has been the earliest start for the selection of grapes for the Amarone since 2000!

Some rain fall between the 13th and 14th of September briefly stopped the harvest, otherwise hot and sunny days have had a positive effect on the beginning of the drying process.

In 12 days of work, we picked some 15,000 boxes of grapes, divided into five different drying rooms that we have in Pojega.
Two thirds of the grapes were picked from our vineyards cultivated in rows, while a third of the grapes come from the our pergola trained vineyards in Pojega – Villa Rizzardi.
20% of the total grapes comes from our Calcarole hill.
The grapes harvested are mostly Corvina ( 40% of the total), Rondinella ( 33%), Corvinone (11%) and for the rest Barbera and Sangiovese.

In the second half of September, the high pressure and the nice sunny weather contributed to a fast start to the drying process of the grapes in boxes and the delicate transition from the vegetable to the woody stage of the stem is already well advanced.

Historically, this type of vintage with grapes rich in sugars and polyphenols, accompanied by a good acidity, has given structured and complex wines, concentrated and rich in extracts.

Giuseppe Rizzardi

Harvest 2015 No. 5 Calcarole - 'Barbera just cut '

 

Harvest 2015 No. 24  Pojega Winery - 'Wooden boxes full of Corvinone'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Il vigneto di Rovereti dopo la lavorazione meccanica per eliminazione delle erbe infestanti senza l'uso di diserbanti chimici (Maggio 2015)
The vineyard of Rovereti after the mechanical processing for removal of weeds without the use of chemical herbicides (May 2015)

In order to achieve a more balanced ecosystem in our vineyards we began, some time ago the process of moving away from the use of synthetic chemical fertilizers and pesticides in the cultivation of our vineyards.

We wanted to get, not only a simple replacement of conventional chemicals, but to be more careful in soil management; aiming to restore ecological balance which the prolonged use of chemical fertilizers and herbicides has weakened over the years – despite the fact that GUERRIERI RIZZARDI has been, since the 1980s, very moderate in our use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

The end result of this multi-year project, will be the production of grapes and wine by organic methods.

The project is at its most advanced stage in our Valpolicella estate in Negrar where:

• Since 2001: we have gradually been reducing the use of chemical fertilizers in favour of organic fertilizers.
• From vintage 2014: total abandonment of chemical herbicides on the weeds between the rows of vines; replaced by a mechanical operation performed with a blade – to clean the line of weeds. Three passes per year are needed to clean the soil from weeds.
• From vintage 2015: total abandonment of synthetic chemical pesticides in favour of conventional products (mainly copper and sulphur) to give the vines protection against powdery mildew, downy mildew, moths lives and botrytis.

Dettaglio della lavorazione sull’interceppo nel vigneto di Rovereti (Luglio2015)
Close up results of mechanical weeding in Rovereti vineyard (July 2015)

The result is that at present all Guerrieri Rizzardi vineyards of Valpolicella are grown organically and the aim is to gradually extend this approach to our other estates in Bardolino, Soave and Valdadige.

Giuseppe & Agostino Rizzardi

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Calcarole Amarone 2006 (Centenary, Limited Edition) was submitted to all the major Italian guides for their 2016 editions.

Vini Buoni d’Italia as usual is the first of those guides to announce its top wines –  Le Corone (The Crowns)  – and we are delighted to say that the 2006 Calcarole CE has received the top accolade of Un Corona.

This limited edition Amarone (3,333 bottles) spent an extra year in large oak and a total of three years in bottle before its due release date. It was released last year to mark the centenary of the modern company through of the union by marriage of  two historic winemaking families the Guerrieri and the Rizzardi. Calcarole 2006 CE has already picked up 93 points from Monica Larner for the Wine Advocate and 94 points from Marcus del Monego MW so this is a nice addition to its list of achievements.

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This year, on June 25th, we are delighted to be taking part in The Definitive Italian Wine Tasting in London.
Seen as one of the UKs most important Italian wine events and running for 17 years the event is attended by sommeliers, buyers, journalists and other key members of the UK wine trade.

We will be showing 6 of our wines at the New Generation Wines table:

Calcarole Amarone Classico 2009

Villa Rizzardi Amarone Classico 2009

Pojega Valpolicella Ripasso Superiore Classico 2012

Clos Roareti Veneto Merlot 2009

Munus Bardolino Superiore Classico 2012

Soave Classico 2014

If you are in London, we hope you can come visit us at table No.35.

Thursday 25 June 2015
10.00 – 19.00 hrs
The Lindley Hall, Royal Horticultural Halls
Elverton St, London SW1P 2QW

Not so much new as refreshed, we have taken our familiar, coloured labels for Bardolino Classico, Soave Classico, Bardolino Chiaretto Classico and Valpolicella Classico and reworked them.

We wanted to emphasis the importance of the land, to make the ‘estate grown and bottled’ message clear to all, especially as we are in the unique position of being able to make wines from our own vineyards in each of the three Classico zones: Valpolicella, Soave and Bardolino.

Each of the three estates has its own, individual winery and fortunately in each case the winery is in close proximity to the vineyards which means that within 10 minutes of being picked, though often even sooner, the grapes can be in the winery. This short time between picking and the start of the winemaking process greatly reduces exposure to oxygen, which in turn allows us to preserve the freshness of the ‘just picked’ grapes and freshness is key to properly expressing the wines in these three zones.

The new vintages are available from this week onward and we hope that the message on the label and the subtle redesign can help to wine more fans to our Classic range.

Valpolicella
Soave Dop Classico SD

 

WINE SPECTATOR

Villa Rizzardi Amarone Classico 2009 – 91 points

“A well-knit red, with lightly chewy tannins framing the subtle flavor range of plump cherry, black licorice drop, fresh forest floor and espresso crème. A hint of cocoa powder mixes with the sweet fruit on the finish. Drink now through 2025” (April 2015)

Soave Classico 2013 – 88 points

“Light-bodied and zesty, this fresh white offers a spicy streak of minerality and subtle notes of yellow apple, spring blossom and sliced almond, revealing a hint of beeswax on the finish. Drink now through 2018..” (April 2015)

WINE ADVOCATE

Calcarole Amarone Classico 2006 Centenary Edition – 93 points

“The 2006 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Calcarole Centenary marks the 100th anniversary of Guerrieri Rizzardi in its modern form. One barrel of the 2006 Amarone Classico Calcarole was set aside to undergo an extra year of barrel aging. It then rested in bottles for three years before its release in 2014. The blend is roughly 70% Corvina, 20% Rondinella and 10% Barbera that sees a total of four years in wood. This celebratory wine is extremely elegant and fine with aged aromas of pressed fruit, cured meat, spice and licorice. Smooth tannins and bright acidity will help the wine age for ten more years.” (Monica Larner Feb.’15)

Calcarole Amarone Classico 2009 – 91 points

“The 2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Calcarole opens to dark fruit layers, juicy berry flavors and loads of exotic spice and tobacco. The wine is comprised of 60% Corvina, 17% Corvinone, 10% Sangiovese, 10% Barbera and 3% Rondinella. This creative blend of indigenous Italian red grapes does not follow the traditional formula for Amarone. It does offer bright intensity, balanced acidity and pretty endnotes of pressed rose and violet. The terraced Calcarole vineyard has calcareous soils with a shallow substrata of rock.” (Monica Larner Feb.’15)

Villa Rizzardi Amarone Classico 2009 – 89 points

“The 2009 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Villa Rizzardi is a dark and deeply concentrated wine with loads of dark fruit and spice that lift heavily from the bouquet. Thick streaks of pressed blackberry, cured meat, teriyaki and barbecue smoke run though this fleshy Amarone. The finish is dense, soft, chewy and slightly sweet.” (Monica Larner Feb.’15)

WINE ENTHUSIAST

Soave Classico 2013 – 88 points

“Floral scents of peach blossom, broom and a whiff of pear mingle in the glass. On the bright palate, toasted almond and aromatic herb give interest to the core of Golden Delicious apple and citrus. It’s refreshing and balanced with vibrant acidity.” (Kerin O’ Keefe 2015)

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With over 350 years of passion in Valpolicella wine Guerrieri Rizzardi joins the Amarone Families

As of today Guerrieri Rizzardi has officially become a member of the Association of Amarone Families. The Association founded in 2009 brings together the most important companies in Valpolicella, companies united in their care of production, preservation of historical heritage and commitment to the international promotion of Amarone, the most prestigious of Veronese red wines.

Guerrieri Rizzardi becomes the youngest Associate of the Amarone Families, although its wine history is among the most ancient in the Valpolicella region with the Counts Rizzardi acquiring Pojega estate in Negrar as early as 1649. The marriage, in 1913, of Carlo Rizzardi to Giuseppina Guerrieri – whose Bardolino estate dated back to the XV century – brought about the Guerrieri Rizzardi of today, merging the two historic estates. The first label under the name Guerrieri Rizzardi appeared in 1914.

Since then, the Rizzardi family have developed the company through continuous improvements in the vineyard and in the cellar, to become a producer of complex wines, wines directly linked to the land of origin. The continued aim is to improve the work done in the vineyards and the cellar, allowing ever greater expression of the vineyards in the wines. The company at the same time keeps a clear eye on the future with the goal of protecting and furthering the position of Amarone in the world of wine – a goal shared with the other associates of the Amarone Families.

The entrance of Guerrieri Rizzardi to the association further consolidates this select group of companies dedicated to the enhancement of Amarone, a symbol of Veronese excellence.

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For the eleventh year running we will be present at Prowein. You can find us in Hall 16 on Stand C42.

The full range is available to taste comprising all the latest vintage releases including;  Single vineyard Soave Classico Costeggiola 2014 and Single vineyard Bardolino Classico Tacchetto 2014.

Also on Sunday three vintages of Calcarole Amarone will be available to taste from the recently released Centenary Edition 2006 through the 92+ point 2008 to the 2009 – Italian Red Wine of the Year (Gambero Rosso 2014).

March 2015- Bottles. Prowein

From the walled vineyard of Roverti in the heart of Negrar, this single vineyard Merlot has become synonymous with the Rizzardi Valpolicella estate. The vines were planted at the start of this century in a heavy clay soil that proved perfectly suited to Merlot.

From the experimental first vintage of 2004 our Merlot has won many friends amongst critic, buyers and wine lovers the world over. Only made in the best years when we believe the vineyard shows it’s true merits this 100% Merlot is aged for 12 months in small French oak barrels then allowed to rest in bottle for up to 3 years before release. We skipped 2010 and are just now releasing the 2011 which has really come into it’s own in the last 6 months and we feel is now ready to approached.

We recommend decanting for at least an hour before serving at around 16°C or 60°F.

Clos Roareti