I have less than spectacular memories of Bardolino… Unfortunately, these memories are a result of receiving one too many wooden gift boxes of Bolla Wines around the Christmas holiday season… All the more reason, when I find a Bardolino that is NOT Bolla, nor is a wooden box, I pounce at the chance to have the wine redeem itself.

Bardolino is a region in the Veneto that produces medium-bodied red wines from Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes – the grapes that go into Valpolicella. Yes, that same region that brings you Vino di Ripasso and Amarone wines… need I say too much more?

In addition to red wines, producers in the region make Bardolino Chiaretto, a beautiful rosé wine from those same grapes. The wines are reminiscent of those lovely rosés from the south of France and are truly captivating. Given that it is that time of year when rosé wines become de rigueur, this wine is especially relevant.

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Le Fraghe, helmed by Matilde Poggi, is a classic producer in Cavaion Veronese. The property has been producing grapes for many decades, but most were sold off to other winemakers, until 1984, when Matilde produced the first vintage from estate-owned grapes. Matilde produces a number of wines (several Bardolinos, a Garganega and a Cabernet Blend), all of which are a true expression of her passion for the land of her ancestors. The Bardolino Chiaretto, Rodòn, is truly a masterpiece. Composed of a blend of Corvina and Rondinella grapes from relatively young vines (12 years old), the wine sees a light maceration to extract enough color to impart a beautiful pink-salmon hue. The cool fermentation temperature aids in the retention of the delicate, floral and red berry aromas, while preserving the crisp, bracing acidity. This wine is pure summer in a bottle…

Based on the quality of this offering, I will definitely seek out Matilde’s other wines. The Rodòn is a great wine with a value-conscious average bottle price of $13.99 pre-discount.

My tasting note:

Bright, lively nose with raspberry, strawberry, fresh cherry and floral hints. Light-to-medium-bodied with firm acidity – well balanced. Light, red berry palate with sweet Bing cherry notes – lovely. Moderate length – smooth with a crisp finish – infinitely quaffable! Drinking well now – not for aging. Good value.

Cheers!

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