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Good Bardolino is hard to find in the UK; I think the Italians must keep it all to themselves. But this single-vineyard Bardolino Classico from one of my favourite Italian producers, Guerrieri Rizzardi is superb.And I'm not alone in thinking that - it wone Best Bardolino at the International Wine Challenge 2018.
Produced from the same grape varieties as Valpolicella, in this instance 80% Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 10% Merlot, this is a lighter, fruitier version - and better than some basic Valpolicellas. It is completely unoaked with fermentation and short ageing taking place in stainless steel tanks in order to preserve the fruit-forward character of the wine.
According to the producer "The unique soil of the single vineyard Tacchetto allows for a more structured, complex Bardolino." The complexity of this wine starts on the nose with Corvina bringing black cherry aromas but also acidity and elegance. Rondinella adds floral notes to the aromas and Merlot softens the wine. It's a lovely fruity light red wine.
The producer suggests consuming this wine with seafood, pasta or roasted white meats - I am told on good authority that it's a treat with roast chicken.
This vineyard has its own unique terrain and conditions with small stones and calcareous rock, a breezy, airy location and is well known for the quality of its fruit. This single vineyard wine is rich in perfume of black cherry and has a characteristic spicy bouquet reflecting the fresh character of unoaked Corvina and Merlot."
92 points & Best Bardolino International Wine Challenge 2018 "Vibrant fruit and a sprinkle of crusted black pudding, juicy lovely mouth feel with softness and gentle bite."
Due Bicchieri Rossi (effectively better than very good but not quite extraordinary) Gambero Rosso 2019
3 Grappoli (effectively wines of good quality with particular finesse) Bibenda 2019
A fruit-driven unoaked red wine produced from the same grapes as Valpolicella, mainly Corvina. It won best Bardolino at the International Wine Challenge in 2018 and I can see why; the unique vineyard soils give it complexity, the ripe fruits its juicy mouthfeel