Conte Loredan Gasparini, “Capo di Stato” Venegazzu Superiore Montello-Colli Asolani DOC 2013 (about $49)

Italian Wine for november, 2022

Veneto is one of Italy’s most productive wine regions and the array of wines and wine styles produced in Veneto is particularly wide and deep. Although probably best known for its red and white wines made with native varieties – Amarone, Valpolicella and Soave come easily to mind – it also is home to some prized wines made from international varieties. In fact, some varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc have been grown here for centuries, long enough that the Veneti consider them traditional native varieties.

Some of the Veneto wines made with international varieties are made exclusively of one variety while others are blends of two or more varieties. In this latter category, some Veneto producers are celebrated for their Bordeaux-style blends based on Cabernet Sauvignon and/or Merlot.

One such producer is the Conte Loredan Gasparini winery located in the Venegazzu sub-zone of the Montello-Colli Asolani DOC in the Treviso region in eastern Veneto. Count Loredan Gasparini, a direct descendent of a Doge of Venice, founded the winery in 1950 and following a visit to Bordeaux France he decided to focus on growing traditional Bordeaux varieties – Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec. He was soon producing a series of classic Bordeaux-style red wines including it’s top-of-the-list Venegazzu “Capo di Stato”.

Capo di Stato translates as “head of state” and alludes to the wine’s popularity among presidents or heads of state when served at various state functions in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. Among its many admirers was former French President Charles de Gaulle who praised the wine after being served it at an official state dinner in Venice, an amazing tribute considering de Gaulle’s aversion to praising anything - or anyone – not French.

The estate’s 2013 “Capo di Stato” consists of 2013 "Capo di Stato" Venegazzu Supeiore Montello-Colli Asolani from the Conte Loredan Gasparini winery in Veneto.approximately two-thirds Cabernet Sauvignon with the remainder a combination of Merlot and Cabernet Franc and a splash of Malbec. All grapes are harvested from a single vineyard of old vines planted in the mid-1950’s. This cru wine is aged in oak barriques for two years, then bottled unfiltered and has 14 percent alcohol.

The intriguing youthful male figure on the bottle label is from a painting created in 1967 by the artist Tono Zancanaro to express his appreciation of the wine and this label has graced every vintage release since then.

The wine has a dark red color with a garnet rim and a gentle swishing of the glass releases Cabernet’s traditional raisiny, dark fruit and sweet spice aromas. It is mid-weight to full-bodied and made in an elegant style with no rough edges or excesses, just an abundance of blackberry and plum flavors with a touch of cassis, smooth tannins and a dry, sleek finish.

This Bordeaux-style Cabernet blend seduces with both its finesse and richness and will keep you coming back for more.


©Richard Marcis
November 8, 2022

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