Gianni Piccoli is fighting an uphill battle. Working in a part of Veneto that is best known for ridiculously high yields, he's the lone winemaker farming to tiny yields. In numerical terms, he harvests 40 hl/hectare while the rest of Bardolino farms close to 100 hl/hectare. Such low yields of outstanding fruit mean that Piccoli's wines are much more concentrated than theirs. His problem is that because he's a gem in a sandbox of mediocrity, he doesn't easily receive the respect he deserves.
These days, Gianni Piccoli is helped by his son, Aldo. Their estate is located in the southeastern hills of Lake Garda, which is a major determinant of the region's microclimate. Because it's a little farther from the lake than other estates, Corte Gardoni benefits from greater diurnal temperature range during the growing season. The cool summer nights -- combined with the vineyards' morainic gravel, sand, and clay -- result in small amounts of superconcentrated fruit that the Piccolis harvest at peak maturity.
Corte Gardoni Bardolino
Like the rest of Piccoli's wines, the 2007 Rose Bardolino Chiaretto is made in tiny quantities. The wine incorporates Rondinella, Corvina and Molinara grapes, resulting in a fresh cranberry nose and a supple, vibrant palate accented by mild spicy notes.
Try this wine with a risotto finished with beets and goat cheese, or a summer salad with mixed greens and pink grapefruit.