Appassionante – Ca’ Del Sette Vini is passionate for wine
In 2015, to celebrate 150 years of vine-growing in Italy’s glorious Veneto region, the Ca’ Del Sette Vini created Appassionante, a red wine that embraces the region’s traditional winemaking techniques and offers some rather unique twists.
I had the pleasure of braking bread with the affable Matteo Pontalto, Sales Director for Ca’ Del Sette Vini, whose family has vine-growing expertise dating back to 1865, and who was enjoying a brief stopover in Toronto while on a whirlwind tour that took him through China and Brazil.
He explained to me that Appassionante combines two prominent Veneto winemaking techniques in its creation. “We use both the ripasso and appassimento techniques when making Appassionante,” adding that the first involves “repassing” a lighter wine over the lees of a heavier wine, while the second involves the use of partially dried grapes to increase concentration.
When I asked if this was a “proprietary” (ie. patented) technique that other wineries couldn’t legally use, Pontalto’s response was humorously dry: “No. Other wineries could do it. But who would want to? It’s way too much work.” In fact, it took the winery six attempts before the final result was deemed good enough to bottle and sell.
Another interesting twist is that rather than using the “typical” indigenous Veneto grape varieties (Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara et al) Ca’ Del Sette Vini opted to use a combination of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. While this decision may not sit well with traditionalists (or those handing out DOCs – hence the IGT designation), there’s no denying it resulted in a very enjoyable wine that will likely please a wide variety of palates.
The Appassionante 2016 (currently available in Ontario – possibly other markets) shows chocolate/cherry on the nose, with a whiff of violet, a hint of vanilla, and a dash of baking spice. Supple, velvety, and viscous in the mouth, it delivers cocoa/mocha/vanilla and ripe, red, juicy red fruit notes. It’ll pair nicely with a range of dishes, but is gentle enough to simply sip on its own.