The small borgo of Mazzano is perched on the hills at the northern border of Valpolicella’s Classico zone. It’s surrounded by vineyards and, a little further on, by the woods and meadows of Lessinia. Here Claudio Viviani has founded a worthy artisan winery, blending tradition and modernity, high-hill viticulture and expertise in the cellar, making for a range that’s linked closely to the appellation. Together with Claudio and his wife, Sandra (the children are also increasingly present), they make up a close-knit team that oversees all stages of production and sales. It’s been a while since we last tasted such a convincing Recioto. If the nose is slightly edgy, the palate is where this 2013 unleashes all its force. Ripe cherry makes room for fine herbs, pepper and mineral hints, while a bursting sweetness finds support in sapidity. Opulent and powerful, the wine strikes an extraordinary balance between suppleness and dynamism. Their two Amarones, the generous Casa dei Bepi ’15 and the more supple Classico ’17, are also excellent.