In the male dominated world of wine, Diletta Tonnello is a breath of fresh air. Freshly graduated from the University of Padua in 2013, a few years of experience, she’s ready to go and put all her passion and skills into the family winery. Located in Montorso Vicentino directly east of Lake Garda and Verona, she has 12 hectares of volcanic, alluvial deposit, rich in pebbles to cultivate. She’s in her element and with her indulging father Antonio, she has free rein to experiment.
My eyes pop open when I put my nose into a glass of Lessini Durello. Made in the Champagne method, it takes 36 months mellowing on the yeast to soften the high acidity of the Durello grapes. Disgorged in February 2017, it is showing pretty well in February 2018 but can only get better with time. It’s creamy with lots of brioche and almonds and leaves that lingering waxy feel in the mouth which you get in Champagne.
Gosh, I remember the student days when I used to swig at bottles of cheap Soave that clung to your cheeks with its wrenching acidity. Garganego, the grape, is from a different planet in the hands of Diletta. Elegant notes of pear with enough acidity turns this varietal into wine of class for easy drinking.
The reds are a triumph. Tonello’s Merlot has been vinified in cement tanks and shows the fruit so well without any interference of wood or too much handling. Eucalyptus and mint come through and dreams of lamb as a food pairing, surface. The Cabernet Sauvignon too has only seen the inside of a cement tank and has a classic cigar box nose with a hint of something green, not the best way of describing reds but it works in this superb wine. Only 2015, with such great potential. The flagship Incognito is slightly older at 2010 and has been in French oak. It’s a combination of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon and the flavours you got from tasting these individually, are brought together seamlessly.
Diletta is young and stunning and has a bright future ahead of her. She can only get better, just like her wines.