Le Fraghe Bardolino appears a purple-tinged ruby red of medium intensity. Its rich, complex bouquet is the result of a perfect blend of fruity essences such as sweet-sour cherry and blueberry, and spicy nuances of cinnamon and black pepper. The distinctive hallmark of this wine is without a doubt the elegance that one experiences on the palate. Although this is a standard-label wine for near-term enjoyment, it displays a remarkably soft suite of tannins and a lovely balance between a judicious acidity and full, savoury flavours, characteristic of wines of this area. Nicely full bodies, it lingers long on the finish.
Encountered by Stephen Grant as a dinner wine (with tagliatelle al pomodoro and cotoletta di pollo) at Matilde Poggi’s – the owner/winemaker of her family’s estate – Le Fraghe (translated as ‘strawberry’ in the local dialect) in the Bardolino township on the eastern shore of Lake Garda, this delicious red belies the new-fangled notion that ‘light’ and ‘red’ are contradictions in terms and proves, to the contrary, that a wine’s ‘personality’ depends upon varietal integrity and sense of place. (The FIVI logo indicates that Matilde belongs to the association of Independenti Vignaioli – independent winegrowers – who directly perform every step in the production of a wine.) This blend of 80% Corvina and 20% Rondinella (the same blend used in her brilliant Chiaretto – which she calls ‘Rodon’ and which we also carry), has a vibrantly grapy bouquet with red cherry fruit, and hints of young strawberry and sweet almond. Fresh and juicy on the palate with fine, lightly dry tannins, a relatively low alcohol level (12%), and a long finish with hints of mint and fennel – and served with a light chill as recommended by Matilde –a better summer red would be hard to find!
|Delicious as an accompaniment to light meats and delicate-flavoured red meats, as well as young cheeses.