Tre Bicchieri 2023: Veneto, land of great reds
The number of Tre Bicchieri awarded to Veneto was a bit lower this year, but the quality they represent is once again outstanding, with high-profile wines coming from all the region's appellations. As usual, the lion's share hail from the west, with Valpolicella and its rich Amarones stealing the show. Thirteen wines were recognized, the result of producers that have, over the decades, managed to endow Verona's historic red with a new identity, pursuing aromatic finesse and gustatory tension in a wine that often exceeds 16% ABV. Their approach to interpreting Valpolicella Superiore is also intriguing. Today it's no longer considered the younger brother of Amarone, but a wine of its own, with a multifaceted profile in which elegance and dynamism prevail. Bertani, with their Ognisanti, is certainly at the vanguard, but Agostino Vicentini and the Castagnedi brothers are also among the area's most interesting interpreters. Moving further west, it was Villabella that shone a light on Lake Garda's reds, with a Bardolino from the Montebaldo subzone that put in a performance for the ages. Moving down towards the southern morainal hills, Custoza shines with whites that combine character and finesse.
The Veneto of free hitters
Here and there we find mavericks who interpret the territory using forgotten varieties or international cultivars, such as the Fugatti brothers, in Valdadige, with their Enantio, Roberto Anselmi in Monteforte d'Alpone, or Roncadelle, in the province of Treviso, where the Cescon family produce a Manzoni Bianco of rare complexity and harmony. Soave presented a large battery of high-profile, characterful whites: if Le Battistelle and Suavia represent the deeper, bolder side of the appellation, Pieropan, Roccolo Grassi and Ca 'Rugate explore its more elegant and multifaceted side thanks to the skilful use of oak. The Dal Cero brothers hold the flag of Lessinia high with a spumante of great personality. Finally, eastern Veneto sees the fragrance and dynamism of Prosecco Superiore alternate with Bordeaux blends that faithfully express the terroir. The vigor and flavor of the Euganean Hills are perfectly brought out in the wines of Vignalta and Filò delle Vigne. Inama and Dal Maso are apt ambassadors of the Berici Hills' sunniness and richness, while the finesse of Montello emerges in Serafini & Vidotto's Rosso dell'Abazia.
Special Awards. Winery of the Year
Bertani is rightfully among the great Italian brands, a company that from the first vintage has pursued a quality idea that was respectful of the territory, its grapes and its traditions. After 150 vintages, Bertani is the story of Amarone and even more so of Valpolicella, a territory that only in the last 30 years has known success but that has always had, in the Grezzana winery, its lighthouse. Since 2011, the Angelini family has taken control, and with the technical direction of Andrea Lonardi it has been able to renew its leading role not only with its flagship wine, Amarone Classico, but by going on to explore the great potential of wines more tied to the territory and less to technique, such as Valpolicella and Valpolicella Superiore.
The Bertani Cru project, born a decade ago but materialized only in 2019 constitutes the cornerstone of the cultural and enological renewal of Valpolicella, a sort of point of no return in which we finally read the different profile of the wines of this wonderful territory. It might sound like the egg of Columbus, but for Valpolicella this is a real revolution and only a winery with a broad viticultural platform, expertise, vision and market presence could tackle it and lead the new course, and that is why Bertani is Winery of the Year.
Tre Bicchieri 2023: the best wines of Veneto