Straw yellow and bright in the glass, this wine is aromatic and concentrated with a thread of minerality. The palate is clean, fresh and fruit driven, with a medium-bodied mouthfeel and long finish.
The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress which helps to produce superior quality fruit.
Bud burst was delayed by seven to eight days compared to 2017, but rainfall and high temperatures in the following weeks brought forward flowering. On the whole, the grapes developed normally and in perfect condition. Yields were slightly higher than in 2017.
The grapes were hand harvested, destemmed, crushed and chilled on the way to the press with no addition of sulphur. The juice was naturally settled, racked and cultured yeasts were added to initiate fermentation which took place at 12-14°C. Half the wine was fermented in oak, and one third of the blend was put through malolactic fermentation in order to add complexity.
Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines set out to produce a range of modern, fruit-driven wines from the hills outside Verona. Working with leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, our aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt's expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.