Marion Valpolicella Superiore 2018
The Marion Farm, located in the unspoilt Marcellise valley east of Verona, is a small family run property managed by Stefano Campedelli, his wife Nicoletta and her brother Marco and their two sons. Acquired in the late 80’s, the first task the Campedeli family set about to change was the overall vineyard health and lower yields all with the goal of improving overall fruit quality. During this period, fruit was sold to local co-ops until 1993 when Stefano met Celestino Gaspari. Under the guidance of the ex-cellar master at Guiseppe Quintarelli and current adviser to Romano dal Forno, Marion was born.
Starting with the 1996 vintage producing a mere 5 barrels, Stefano & Celestino set about creating a unique expression that paid tribute to the massive potential of the region that was being explored by Marion’s contemporaries at the time. Marion only works with the fruit of their own vineyards, hand picking each parcel of vineyard and vinifying individually to allow each varietal to develop its own unique character before blending.
Composed primarily of Corvina & Corvinone with small amounts of Rondinella. These components are fermented together in stainless steel then transferred into barrel for 36 months or so. Only 10% now sees small barrel (500ltr) with the rest in 3000ltr, all Slovenian oak.
The final blend is assembled on the blending bench starting at 30% appasimento as a general rule then tweaking the blend depending on the vintage. To be honest each time I visit these past years it seems the dried grape component is getting smaller, more bordering between 10% and 15% now due to the balance between Marion’s vision of elegance in their wines vs global warming. There is Zero residual sugar left in this wine.
The Marion winery and vineyards are located in Marcellise, outside the Classico zone, on the hills east of Verona. This year’s releases include a new set of wines that Stefano Campedelli made from a vineyard across the valley from the winery with distinctly white calcareous soils. The wines are labeled Corte Lavel, and are done in a more immediate style. That said, the Amarone is impressive, with years of positive development in store for collectors. At Marion, the 2018 Teroldego is a highlight. Many 2018s in Valpolicella come across as fragile and almost diluted in feel, yet that is not the case here. The 2018 Valpolicella Superiore is beautiful. Peppery florals and earth tones give way to wild strawberries and licorice. It splashes across the palate with a balanced inner sweetness contrasted by a mix of red plums and saline-mineral tones. The 2018 leaves the mouth watering for more, finishing only lightly structured and potent with lingering tart wild berries and sour citrus hints. Drinking window: 2023-2028 - Eric Guido, Vinous, 92 Points
The Finer Details
Style - Red Wine
Varietal - Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella
Country - Italy
Region - Veneto
Vintage - 2018
Bottle Size - 750ml
ABV - 14%
Closure - Cork