Bardolino is located in the western part of the Veneto region, near the southeastern shores of Lake Garda. The area benefits from the glacial soil and the consistent microclimate of the Alps and Lake Garda. Indigenous grapes Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara are the stars here, producing light red and rosé wines that are light, fresh and super versatile. [For a comprehensive look into Chiaretto, check out Garda’s Chiaretto Success over at Godello.]
Bardolino Chiaretto DOC is the rosé producing designation in Bardolino. The rosé [rosato] are considered some of the best in all of Italy. Chiaretto translates to ‘little light one’ and refers to the light colour and body the wines are renowned for. It is made by allowing the grapes a short period of skin contact, or by maceration [as used in Provence and the Languedoc rosés].
I was delighted to attend the Slow Wine tasting of sustainable wines held at Eataly Downtown in NYC a few weeks ago. In addition to the fantastic individual winery and winemakers that were there, the Consorzio di Tutela Chiaretto e Bardolino was presenting a selection of the new 2018 vintage. Below are the wines that I found to be engaging, distinctive and expressive of their unique terroir.
Le Fraghe Rodon Bardolino Chiaretto DOC 2018
Silky, gossamer layers of strawberry, citrus and clean minerality. Elegant and refreshing.
Corvina & Rondinella
Gorgo Bardolino Chiaretto DOC 2018
‘Wow’ was the first thing I wrote down about this unique gem. Bright and vivid, with an almost fizzy body, juicy grapefruit and strawberry shine in each shimmery sip.
Corvina, Rondinella & Molinara
VillaBella Bardolino Chiaretto Classico DOC 2018
White pepper and citrus zest accent soft red fruits and fresh acidity. Delicate and breezy, fantastically refreshing.
55% Corvina, 35% Rondinella, 10% Molinara
Lenotti Bardolino Chiaretto Classico DOC 2018
Refreshing and super easy drinking, with raspberry, strawberry, watermelon and slate minerality backed by fresh acidity.
40% Corvina, 40% Rondinella, 20% Molinara
Gentili Bardolino Chiaretto DOC 2018
Tangy cherry, along with watermelon and strawberry are supported by a vein of clean minerality and fresh acidity. Juicy and gluggable.
60% Corvina, 30% Rondinella, 10% Molinara
Albino Piona Bardolino Chiaretto DOC 2018
My favourite of the crew, totally remarkable and wonderfully uncommon. Saffron, smoky minerality and a squeeze of citrus fuse into an ethereal sip. Still can’t stop thinking about this one.
80% Corvina, 20% Rondinella
Note: The wines above have an average price of $15.
Media event hosted by Slow Wine