The Allegrini family estate covers 100 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area. The family has been growing grapes here for six generations, but the estate in its current form was founded by Giovanni Allegrini. When he died in 1983, it passed to his three children, who ran it together until Walter's death in July 2003. Franco now looks after the vineyards and is the winemaker, and Marilisa is director of marketing.
The southeast facing vineyards are situated in the hills of the Valpolicella Classico region at 240 metres above sea level. Soils mostly consist of chalk and clay. The older vines are trained using the Pergola Trentina, with 3,000 vines per hectare whereas the younger ones are Guyot trained, with 5,000 vines per hectare. The average age of the vines is 31 years.
The summer of 2012 was unusual, given the high temperatures and prolonged absence of rainfall. A downpour on the 17th of July fortunately restored water reserves. In addition, the abundant and much-needed rainfall at the beginning of September - about 80 mm - changed the macroclimate substantially, bringing with it significant differences in day and night-time temperatures that were crucial for developing a wide range of aromas. Although there was a decline in average production of 10% to 15%, the heat wave did not scorch the clusters. The harvest, which was interrupted by only two rainy days on the 28th and 29th September, ended on the 17th October.
After picking, the grapes were dried naturally for four to five months at the 'Terre di Fumane' - a temperature and humidity controlled drying centre. During the drying period, 50% of the original weight of the grapes was lost. Vinification began with the de-stalking and soft pressing of the grapes which were then fermented at up to 22ºC. Maceration lasted for 19 days with daily pumping over. The wine was racked into 225 litre French oak barriques, where it remained for 14 months until bottling. It matured for a further ten months in bottle before release.
The nose is bursting with fruit, followed by fresh floral notes and pepper. After prolonged ageing, the wine offers more evolved nuances of fruit preserved in alcohol and aromatic herbs. The sweetness is balanced by acidity and tannins, creating an approachable wine of great finesse. The wine is named after the founder, Giovanni Allegrini, who elected this as his preferred wine.