ITALY’S ZENATO FAMILY, best known for its production of Lugana, Valpolicella and Amarone wines, has launched a new red, Alanera Rosso, a blend of the native grapes Corvina, Rondinella and Corvinone with some Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s produced off the family’s Costalunga Estate Vineyard in Valpolicella Classico, and is made by the traditional appassimento method of partially drying the grapes before fermenting them. The proprietary name Alanera pays tribute to the Veneto’s core red grape, Corvina, which translates as “black wing,” a reference to the raven, and Corvina is known for its dark color. Zenato, imported by Winebow, is a highly respected, innovative Italian brand that delivers exceptional quality at affordable prices.
Zenato “Alanera” Rosso Veronese IGT 2012, $20: This intense red makes me bunch up my shoulders and smile: Such a delicious wine with its bold aromas and lush flavors and texture. It’s made mostly from indigenous grapes and named is “Alanera,” which means black-winged, for the ravens that inhabit the Valpolicello region, and for the dark color of wine that Corvina makes. The black-winged birds fly on the label as well. The wine is rich and intense, with half the grapes partially dried before fermentation to concentrate the flavors. Twelve months in French oak rounds out the tannin structure. Aromas are hints of dried cherries, prunes, blackberry, plum and spice. It’s medium-bodied and such a graceful companion to roasted or braised meats, or medium-aged cheeses and cured meats. It’s a Leonardo LoCascio Selection — another reason to love it!
You can reach Sandra Silfven at ssilfven@Hotmail.com.