Creso, Italian for Croesus, is named after the ancient King Croesus of Lydia. It is said that the first gold coins in the history of the world were minted in Lydia (modern day Turkey) and in that vein, only the “most precious materials available are used for Creso.” Translation? Grape selection is severe, is carried out by hand, and dutifully watched by winemaker Christian Scrinzi.
For years, Bolla has wallowed in mediocrity, but as I reported earlier this Spring, there is a renaissance being led by Scrinzi and Creso just may be the flag bearer.
Bolla first produced a wine called “Creso” in the 1990’s as a response to the wave of success the Super Tuscans were enjoying, for Creso was indeed predominantly Cabernet. This sort of knee jerk reaction to the market was just the sort of judgemental error indicative to Bolla’s problems. After a lackluster response, Creso production was halted in 2001.
Now reborn, the 2010 Bolla Creso is the first vintage of the re-invented wine and is now a Veronese IGT blend of 70% Corvina and 30% Cabernet. What makes the wine unique, is that the Cabernet is harvested and then air dried for almost a month to intensify it’s flavors. At that point, each varietal is vinified and then blended together. Aging takes place in second passage barrique to ensure minimal influence from the oak.
Wanting to see if Creso could impress on it’s merits and with no pre-conceived notions, I served the wine blind to a group of friends over dinner. I told them nothing about the wine – not even that it was Italian.
The color of the wine is dark reddish purple, with violet reflections at the rim. Rich aromas of blackberry, baking spices, leather and mint are evident on the nose and palate. The balance between acid and tannin is nearly perfect and the wine finishes long and elegant. This medium to full bodied wine is drinking beautifully right now and it’s hard to resist. It paired great with grilled chicken marinated in herbs and spices. Still, despite it’s charm and approachability, and the fact that it lacks major tannic structure, the balance is there and I’m intrigued to see what this becomes with age.
Six people tasted Creso that night. All six loved the wine. All six said they would seek it out to buy – especially when I revealed what I paid for the bottle. After I asked them again to be sure of their perceptions, the bottle was revealed. To my shock they were not surprised to see the Bolla label. Two tasters even remarked that they know Bolla Soave is a quality wine. Perhaps the word is out, and the tide is turning? I’m ready to watch it rise. 93 points, $21.
|~ Creso: 70% Corvina and 30% Cabernet ~|
June 24, 2013