Tedeschi Winemaker’s Dinner Review

with Riccardo Tedeschi

Tuesday 16th June 2015 @ Lysses House Hotel

Last week we were very lucky to have a visit from Riccardo Tedeschi, winemaker from the world renowned Tedeschi Wines. I have written a bit more about Tedeschi Wines and you can see the full menu and wines at my previous blog post. I would like to thank Riccardo for his time and for showing a range his fabulous wines in an informative and humorous manner. This would also not have been possible without Matthew Nutt of John E Fells (Tedeschi’s UK agents).

Tedeschi Winemaker’s Dinner

Before the dinner we had a tutored wine tasting of four red wines. Due to a slight pouring error, these ended up being the Lucchine Valpolicella DOC Classico, Corasco IGT Delle Venezie, Capitel Nicalo Valpolicella DOC Superiore and La Fabriseria Valpolicella DOC Superiore.

All of the wines showed very well and it was interesting to note the consistency of house style and the gradual increase in quality (in fact the quality across the tasting was extremely good). We already stock some of these wines, but having tasted most of the range, there will definitely be a couple more that we will be adding to the Fareham Wine Cellar’s Italian wine selection.

Tedeschi Winemaker’s Dinner

There were a couple of my personal favourite Tedeschi wines in the pre-dinner tasting, the Corasco and La Fabriseria Valpolicella. The Corasco is a COrvina, RAboso and RefoSCO, blend (get it?) and the only red wine of the tasting that was not a Valpolicella, it is, in fact an IGT delle Venezie. This is because although the Corvina comes from Moraine hills in the heart of Valpolicella the Raboso is grown in Oderzo (Treviso) and the Refosco is grown in Aquileia, both outside of the Valpolicella region. The grapes for the Corasco are dried for 1 month and lose about 10% of their weight in this time. It is a lot plummier and richer than the Valpolicellas and has loads of dark, spicy, damson fruit with dried fruit (raisined) and violet character creeping in. A superb wine. My other favourite was the top Tedeschi Valpolicella, La Fabriseria Valpolicella Classico DOC Superiore, a Super-Valpolicella if you will! This is from the family’s La Fabriseria vineyard, their top vineyard, and is a blend of 35% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella aged 5% Oseleta, cropped at a similar low-yield level as for Amarone and aged in Slavonian oak barrels. La Fabriseria Valpolicella has great floral, violet aromas with hints of cherry, sour cherry and dried fruit (prune). The palate is full and rich with superb balance and feel. There are sweet notes with more plummy, cherry flavours balanced with a lively acidity. Big, rich and chunky. Very nice. Honorable mention to the Lucchine and the Capitel Nicalo which are both very good wines. The Capitel Nicalo and the Corasco were the two most popular wines of the evening in terms of orders placed (see diagram below). The Capitel Nicalo is also one of the three best-selling wines that Tedeschi produce (alongside their Amarone and one other I can’t remember!).

The staff and chef Clive Wright at Lysses House Hotel did a great job serving food and wine to 40 people all at the same time, which is never the easiest of jobs. I managed to grab a couple of quick photographs of the fish starters and the vegetarian option (which had a rather nice tricolore theme) but I didn’t get round to taking any more.

Tedeschi Winemaker’s Dinner

Both starters matched very well with the chosen white wine which was the fantastic Capitel Tenda Soave. This is 100% Garganega grown on volacanic soils and the grapes are late harvested, with some botrytis. This is a full, weighty Soave with good viscous mouthfeel and a dry finish. Nothing like the bad old Soaves of yesteryear. The main course was thinly sliced duck breast on a bed sweet potato purée, leeks and snow peas. This was matched with the Amarone which was rich and sweet enough to handle the duck and the sweetness of the sweet potato purée.  There was a small selection of Italian cheeses including Taleggio, Pecorino and a white Gorgonzola (which I hadn’t seen before. This was paired with the Capitel San Rocco Valpolicella Ripasso DOC Superiore and it seemed to work well with most of the cheeses, perhaps not the salty Pecorino, but definitely the Taleggio. The San Rocco undergoes a second fermentation on the skins of the Amarone wine from the previous vintage. This imparts some of the Amarone character into the wine. It is a very full-bodied, spicy red wine with coffee / mocha flavours. The last food wine match for the evening split the crowd somewhat. The dessert, a rich dark chocolate slice studded with raisin and macaroons served with a vanilla seed ice cream and tuille biscuit, was served with the Tedeschi Capitel Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG Classico. It was a very rich, dark chocolate and I think it might have been a bit too sweet for the Recioto. Some people loved the combination, some people didn’t.

Personally, I couldn’t make up my mind, the flavours and wine combination seemed to change with every mouthful. If I repeated the excercise I would probably serve the Recioto on its own. The Recioto was not the sweetest of styles but it was packed with spicy, damson, confit aromas and flavours. A wine for contemplation.

Tedeschi Winemaker’s Dinner

Which was the favourite wine on the evening? As a percentage of orders placed.

Tedeschi Winemaker’s Dinner

Thank you again to everyone who attended and especially to Riccardo Tedeschi for spending a evening with us all at Fareham Wine Cellar.

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