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2021 Bianco di Custoza “Mael”

Corte Gardoni
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When on the hunt for crisp everyday whites, it is natural to turn to appellations like Chablis, Mâcon, or Sancerre—the tried and true old reliables. But with yields down in Burgundy and prices for good Sancerre slowly creeping up, why not branch out and travel off the beaten path to find real value and experience new flavors?
          That road leads right to Corte Gardoni, the Veneto farm run by the Piccoli family just south of Lake Garda. Founded by the late Gianni Piccoli, whose principal tenets included preserving local grape varieties and wine styles and maintaining competitive prices for longtime clients, the farm is now run by his sons, Stefano, Mattia, and Andrea. Needless to say, they have remained faithful to their father’s strong values.
     “Mael” is the more refined of Corte Gardoni’s two whites, and the value it provides is stupendous. A masterful blend of Garganega, Trebbiano, Trebbianello, and Riesling, this perfumed charmer punches far above its weight, delivering aromatic complexity in spades, pinpoint precision on the palate, and a stony finish that exudes pure class. The 2021 edition is particularly racy—uncork a bottle instead of one of the usual suspects next time you seek everyday refreshment, and treat yourself to this unexpected Venetian beauty.

Anthony Lynch

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2021
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: 40% Garganega, 20% Trebbiano, 20% Trebbianello, 20% Riesling
Appellation: Bianco di Custoza
Country: Italy
Region: Veneto
Producer: Corte Gardoni
Winemaker: Piccoli Family
Vineyard: 7 - 25 years, 25ha total
Soil: Moraine
Aging: Several months of aging in stainless steel before bottling
Farming: Sustainable
Alcohol: 12.5%

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About The Region

Veneto

map of 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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Terroirs

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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