We visit Le Fraghe and taste rosé and wines under screw cap and natural cork
When we do our wine tours in Veneto (with amarone, Valpolicella etc) we often make a small detour to Bardolino, the wine region on the eastern shore of the Garda Lake in the Vento region in north-eastern Italy. There is a good reason for that and it is to show that it is quite possible to make very good wines even in this area so dominated by the tourist and lake attraction around the tremendously cute Bardolino village. It is a region that still has its problems though, especially the quality variations from one producer to another. Some are very good and some are not good at all. (Ed.: but in which district is that not true?)
When we come here we often make a stop at a place run by a not very big but very determined lady who’s name is Matilde Poggi. She owns and runs the Le Fraghe winery. Matilde sometimes pulls out some surprises for us an lately she has done a very interesting tasting to compare a wine in a bottle closed with natural cork and in one closed with screw cap. Comparing blind of course.
Which one is best? Is there any difference at all? Is the difference due to the closure? And how does the wine develop in the glass? There are always many questions and the discussion is animated. It is almost so that we look like gesticulating Italians around the tasting table…
Last time we were there we did a quick poll: which do you prefer? It was almost a dead heat with a small preference for the “screw capped” wine. Seven against five. The most important conclusion was that it was not really a question of what was “best” but a question of which style of wine you preferred!
And what was the difference? Join us on the next wine tour to Veneto and you will see for yourself!
The traditional grapes in Bardolino are corvina, rondinella and molinara, just like in Valpolicella, the home of the famous Amarone. One of the main differences is that in Bardolino they do not dry the grapes at all before pressing (appassimento). This makes for lighter, fruitier wines with less alcohol. But you have to know what you are doing, and how, to avoid falling in the trap of just too easy drinking light and aromatic reds that go well with a pizza but not much else.
When we were there a few weeks ago Matilde was in an unusually cheerful mood. She had just signed a contract to deliver her rosé wine to the Swedish monopoly, which obviously is a big thing for a small producer. She had had to change both the name of the wine (from Le Fraghe Ròdon to Corvina Rosato) and the shape of the bottle (from classic Bordeaux shape to slim Alsace type) and the label. But the taste is the same.
A dry rosé with a fresh rose petal bouquet and with wild strawberries and red currants. The taste of the more substantial rosé type with a bit of tannins, far from the sweeter (and sometimes cloying) style. The alcohol is a moderate 12.5%. It will go well with pastas, fish and chicken. And pizza too of course!
If you like rosés, a glass of wine in the shade in the garden, and summer wines then you should try Matilde’s wines.
If that makes you curious and you want to know more about the good Bardolinos and the excellent wines of Veneto (Valpolicella, amarones, Soaves etc), then you can always come on a wine tour with us to the region!
More on Le Fraghe: www.fraghe.it