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2016 Bardolino “Le Fontane”

Corte Gardoni

2016 Bardolino “Le Fontane” Corte Gardoni - Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant
Gianni Piccoli is the godfather of the Bardolino and Custoza growing regions. A former fruit taster, Gianni inherited prime land in both zones and set about to make the best wine of the region, from exclusively estate-grown fruit. In terms of typicity, you won’t find a more authentic wine anywhere in Bardolino. Le Fontane is Corte Gardoni’s early drinking vino that sees no refinement in wood. It has the smoky qualities you’d expect from Valpolicella, along with a distinct stoniness from the riverbed stones here (similar to Châteauneuf ), silky tannins, and a ravishing perfume of roses, sweet cherries, and damp earth. Manni Nössing in Alto Adige told me that he and his harvest team drank an entire case on their afternoon break one day last year. (If you’ve met Manni, this won’t seem at all exaggerated.)

Dixon Brooke

$14.00
Vintage: 2016
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 60% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, 10% Other
Appellation: Bardolino
Country: Italy
Region: Veneto
Producer: Corte Gardoni
Winemaker: Piccoli family
Soil: Moraine
Aging: Several months of aging in stainless steel before bottling
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 12.5%

More from this Producer or Region

About Veneto

Italy’s most prolific wine region by volume, the Veneto is the source of some of the country’s most notorious plonk: you’ll find oceans of insipid Pinot Grigo, thin Bardolino, and, of course, the ubiquitous Prosecco. And yet, the Veneto produces the highest proportion of DOC wine of any Italian region: home to prestigious appellations like Valpolicella, Amarone, and Soave, it is capable of excelling in all three colors, with equally great potential in the bubbly and dessert departments.

With almost 200,000 acres planted, the Veneto has a wealth of terroirs split between the Po Valley and the foothills of the Alps. While the rich soils of the flatlands are conducive to mechanization, high yields, and mass production of bulk wine, the areas to the north offer a fresher climate and a diversity of poor soil types, ideal for food-friendly wines that show a sense of place. Whether it’s a charming Prosecco Superiore from the Glera grape, a stony Soave or Gambellara from Garganega, or a Corvina-based red in any style, the Veneto’s indigenous grape varieties show real character when worked via traditional production methods.

Since his first visit in 1979, Kermit has regularly returned to the Veneto to enjoy its richness of fine wines and local cuisine. Our collaboration with Corte Gardoni, our longest-running Italian import, is a testament to this. The proximity of beautiful cities like Verona and Venice, with their deep culinary heritage, certainly doesn’t hurt, either.

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Trust the great winemakers, trust the great vineyards. Your wine merchant might even be trustworthy. In the long run, that vintage strip may be the least important guide to quality on your bottle of wine.—Kermit Lynch

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