There’s a group called the Wine Century Club, of which I’m a member. All you need to do is track how many different varieties that you’ve enjoyed… even if those varieties are in a blended wine. It almost feels like cheating; but those are their rules, and rules are rules. When I started I thought, “piece of cake,” but I hit a wall at 60+ varieties. Once you get past Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, etc., the usuals… you really need to step outside of your comfort zone… And so I did, and I finally reached my 100 different varieties goal.

You know what? Once done, you want to keep going, and so the Wine Century Club has set up new goals:

In addition to regular membership, we also recognize serious grape nuts who have tried at least 200 (Doppel), 300 (Treble), 400 (Quattro) or 500 (Pentavini) varieties.

I’m headed to Doppel… I’ve always wanted to be a Doppel, I think… And, so, when the wines from Rocco Sveva arrived, the first thing I wanted to do was to check out the varieties, to see if I’m getting closer to my goal. I’m currently at 147 different wine grapes tasted, in one form or another.

So, anyway…

A shipment of wine arrived from Cantina Di Soave’s Rocca Svena, which are Estate wines from Verona. Verona is a city straddling the Adige River in Veneto, of northern Italy. It’s the second largest municipality in the region and the third largest in northeast Italy. This wine company was founded in 1898; and I’m on their radar screen, which – of course – I love.

The following three wines were sent for me to enjoy… and so I did…

First of all, am I going to be moving forward in my Wine Century goal? I checked all of their varietal content against what I have on my wine century spread sheet…

  • Soave Classico 2013 ~ Garganega grape ~ Nope, I’m good with that one. I also find the Garganega grape to be very delicious.
  • Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2009 ~ GRAPES: 70% Corvina (all set), 25% Rondinella (YES, a new one!), 5% Molinara (YES, a new one!)

Now I’m up to 149. Can I make it over the edge to 150? (You can see the passion building for self achievement. My only competitor in life is my own self… always to improve.)

  • Amarone Della Valpolicella 2008 ~ GRAPES: 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Molinara (NOPE, but I’m still very appreciative for the two that are sending me forward: This one is the same as the one above, including the same blend. So this one will be side-by-side in a comparative tasting, to understand the one year’s difference in aging and how the harvest has affected these two wines… Still a great learning experiment.)

What I love about shipments of wines that come from Rocca Sveva is not only what I’ve mentioned above… getting to taste new varieties; but there’s also something much deeper… They’re indigenous varieties. While I do love having learned all that I have about California wines, which are now indigenous to California, is to taste another part of the globe… the wines from “somewhere else.” We can all agree that the more one travels, the more broadminded one becomes. Travel and the flavors associated with stepping outside of a comfort zone is mind expanding. So, while I’m a wine publicist working in California, telling my tales (sometimes juicy, sometimes not so juicy), I love learning more from other world regions.

One of the greatest gifts in my life was when Delfim Costa of Lisbon, Portugal brought me to his country to taste his Enoforum Wines of the Alentejo region. Let’s just say that my Wine Century Club membership was put into overdrive… And now, I’m being allowed to enjoy Northern Italy in my Russian River Valley office… How superb… A day in the life of a wine publicist, who is being true to why I started this wine blog, sharing with those whom also love wine adventures.

Rocca Sveva wines tasted

  • Rocca Soave Classico 2013 ~ Garganega grape
    • I was turned onto the Garganega grape quite a while back. I love this variety. It’s a dry, white wine, with lots of floral notes, with flavors that remind me of golden delicious apples, a palate that’s full flavored and very lemony… I really enjoyed the toasted almond finish. Think aperitif and your favorite cheese that would complement a lemony white wine.
  • Ripasso Valpolicella Superiore 2009 ~ 70 percent Corvina, 25 percent Rondinella, 5 percent Molinara (The three indigenous grapes going into this wine)
    • The younger of the two wines, this one was big and bold. Dark cherry flavors, a touch of nutty spice, and tight tannins, this is definitely ready for a tri tip summer barbeque.
  • Amarone Della Valpolicella 2008 ~ 70 percent Corvina, 25 percent Rondinella, 5 percent Molinara
    • Deliciously complex, this smooth, silky wine lives up to its reputation for red berries and dried fruit like cranberries and dried blueberries. The tannins on this one reminded me why these wines are only now being introduced… as a six year old wine, this one would be great for a prime rib dinner.

I highly recommend these wines… not only for the excitement they bring to a palate ready for adventure, but also for the delicious flavors that each has presented.