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The walled city of Soave in the Veneto region is the source (and namesake) of one of the great classic Italian white wines. The town dates from Roman times, and so does the winemaking tradition. The Romans were big fans of minerally, floral wines like those of Soave. The Garganega grapes, that for many centuries have produced Soave wines, come mainly from vineyards in the hills that rise behind the town and march northwestward toward the eastern Valpolicella. This area is now known as Soave Classico and is still the source of the best wines of the denomination due to the hills’ volcanic soils. 

Leaving Soave through the Porta Aquila—the north gate of the city’s 14th-century walls—a walk of a mile and a quarter (including a climb of about 500 feet) leads to the top of Mount Foscarino, a dormant volcano now covered with grapevines. In the 1960s, Giuseppe Inama began buying up small vineyard plots on this peak in the heart of the Soave Classico zone, and as a result, the Inama winery today owns most of the vineyards on Mount Foscarino. Giuseppe Inama saw the great potential of these old, traditional vineyards at a time when others were more intent on producing larger quantities in the plains for inexpensive exports. His son Stefano, who took over the winemaking duties in 1992, has continued to work tirelessly to realize the potential of these vineyards, working with some of the very best vineyard management consultants in the world to get Inama’s vineyards into the best possible shape. 

Near the top of the hill is a large wooden platform with a 270-degree panoramic view to the south and east. To the right at a distance, it is easy to spot the crenellated walls and towers of Soave Castle as it keeps watch over the town. In the foreground are Inama’s tidy vigneti di Foscarino (Foscarino vineyards). And to the left, over the vineyards and across a broad valley, are a set of hills that are the home of Inama’s other project. These hills—the Colli Berici—are composed of iron-rich terra rossa, a soil type that is prized worldwide as being ideal for growing red winegrapes, and indeed this is where Inama gets its red wines.

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WINERY LOCATION: San Bonifacio, Veneto
WINE REGIONS: Soave DOC, Colli Berici DOC, IGT Veneto
VINEYARD LAND: 134 acres (54 ha)
FARMING PRACTICES: Organic
GRAPE VARIETIES: Garganega and Carmenère; smaller amounts of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc
WINE STYLES: Dry white; dry red
TOTAL WINE PRODUCTION: 450,000 bottles (335,000 liters)
YEAR FOUNDED: 1967
OWNER(S): Stefano Inama
WINEMAKER(S): Stefano & Matteo Inama

WINES

INAMA “VIN SOAVE” SOAVE DOC CLASSICO

Vin Soave is the main production for the estate, an entry-level wine that nevertheless comes from vineyards farmed the same way as for Inama’s reserve wines—“a little luxury for everyday.” The wine is made from 100% Garganega in stainless-steel tanks to stress the importance of freshness and Garganega’s floral notes. Along with the enhanced minerality from the vineyards’ volcanic soil, the result is a wine with great versatility in combination with food.

INAMA “FOSCARINO” SOAVE DOC CLASSICO

Vigneti di Foscarino is a wine that demonstrates the real potential of the Garganega grape. Inama uses a selection of some of its oldest vines, from vineyards (vigneti) on volcanic Mount Foscarino in the Soave Classico area. The vineyards face east, catching the morning sun but avoiding the afternoon heat, which helps to maintain the beautiful floral notes and the minerality but with a deeper and more complex texture. The vinification is inspired by medieval times, in used barriques.

INAMA "CARBONARE" SOAVE DOC CLASSICO

"Carbonare" is a wonderful vineyard of old pergolas that greets the morning sun, overlooking a steep sided valley.  Located halfway up the hillside with exposure to the East, the vineyard has a noticeably different microclimate compared to Foscarino. The fresh air comes down from the Val d’Alpone and its Piccole Dolomiti. The natural balance of the plants and the adjacent streams indicates that water flows underneath, a precious resource for producing a great white wine. The basalt, which characterizes the ground in most of the Soave Classico area, has great chromatic complexity here, fading from black to green, red and orange.  The strong character of the vineyard is evident in the grapes: joyful aromas of citrus, effervescent acidity, mineral freshness.

INAMA “VIGNETO DU LOT” SOAVE DOC CLASSICO

Vigneto du Lot is a companion to Inama’s Vigneti di Foscarino that is intended to show a different side of the amazingly versatile Garganega grape variety. The vineyard (vigneto) is planted on a particular rootstock (Vitis rupestris du Lot) that yields grapes of exceptional concentration. The southwest exposure results in riper fruit, which provides a wine with golden color and a powerful character that is enhanced by a touch of new oak.

INAMA “CARMENÈRE PIÙ” VENETO ROSSO IGT

Inama has launched a major exploration into the possibilities for Carmenère in Italy, and Carmenère Più is the main product of this effort. Carmenère is a pre-phylloxera staple of Bordeaux wines that was brought to the Colli Berici area of Veneto at least a century and a half ago. Yet when this wine was first made, Carmenere was not an approved grape variety for labeling purposes in this area and was considered a type of Cabernet. Nevertheless, this wine demonstrates that Carmenere can be a lovely addition to Veneto’s more common red varieties, producing wines with beautiful concentration and freshness. A portion of old-vines Merlot is blended with the Carmenère to add a bit of softness and roundness.

INAMA “BRADISISMO” COLLI BERICI DOC

Bradisismo was the first red wine produced by Soave-based Inama, in 1997. It combines Cabernet Sauvignon with a former Bordeaux grape variety, Carmenere, that has been grown in the Colli Berici area for around 150 years. This is now in effect Inama’s reserve wine, elegant with a touch of spiciness. The wine’s name is Italian for bradyseism, a geological term for uplifting of the Earth’s crust by deep lakes of magma—the process that formed the Colli Berici.

INAMA “ORATORIO DI SAN LORENZO” COLLI BERICI DOC CARMENÈRE RISERVA

Oratorio di San Lorenzo is Inama’s top-tier red wine, showcasing the estate’s efforts to bring the Carmenere grape variety back to prominence in the Colli Berici area of Veneto. The wine is pure Carmenere, made from a selection of the best grapes in the best vintages only. To date, Oratorio di San Lorenzo is the only Carmenere Riserva made in Colli Berici DOC. Its name honors a Benedictine monastery (oratorio) nearby dedicated to Saint Lawrence.

LOCATION


WINERY:
San Bonifacio, Veneto

VINEYARD:
Soave (Verona province) and Colli Berici (Vicenza province), Veneto

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NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM OUR FRIENDS IN THE INDUSTRY



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94
FEBRUARY 2021
Inama "Carbonare" Soave DOC Classico 2018

The 2018 Soave Classico Carbonare is youthfully rich and packed full of character, displaying dried nectarine and peaches before further evolving to show dusty yellow florals with a hint of almond. There are depths of texture to work through, perfectly contrasted by zesty acids, minerals and a notes of sour apple, yet it still maintains a sense of balanced ripeness. This tapers off long and structured, seeming to slowly melt away from the palate, leaving savory spices and a tug of subtle tannin. There’s so much going on here, along with a promise of even more to come through medium-term cellaring.

93
JANUARY 2021
Inama “Vin Soave” Soave DOC Classico 2019

Dried-apple and pureed-pear aromas follow through to a dense, full body with layers of fruit and intense flavors. Such focus and purity. Benchmark, classic Soave. Drink now. Screw cap.

93
APRIL 2022
Inama “Oratorio di San Lorenzo” Colli Berici DOC Carmenère Riserva 2018

The 2018 Oratorio di San Lorenzo Riserva is very pretty and dusty in character with understated cherry and florals, yet it gains richness in the glass. This is powerful yet wrapped up tight in its youthful state with perfumed inner florals and depths of dark red fruits. It leaves the palate structured and finishes long, yet it remains fresh through juicy acidity, with hints of ginger and peppery florals that linger. This is a more finessed yet still-potent San Lorenzo Riserva in the making.

96
JULY 2021
Inama “Foscarino” Soave DOC Classico 2019

The nose is quite reserved, showing some melon, pear and lavender. Then, on the palate, the expansion starts on a base of silky almond cream and builds up slowly and steadily through the long, long finish. Aftertaste of lemon cream. Never ebullient, but medium-bodied, layered and silky, this is quiet refinement flexing its muscles. Total balance. Beautifully done. All in place. Best ever. Enjoy now or hold.

93
DECEMBER 2021
Inama “Oratorio di San Lorenzo” Colli Berici DOC Carmenère Riserva 2016

The Inama 2016 Colli Berici Carmenere Riserva Oratorio di San Lorenzo is super sassy and spicy, with dark fruit, cherry, spice, cola and a good dose of crushed white pepper. If you love Carmenère, I recommend you try this spicy, edgy and crisp expression from Italy's northern Veneto region. This region and this grape are together showing very promising results. This is a mid-weight red that would pair seamlessly with an epic steak au poivre.

91
DECEMBER 2021
Inama “Foscarino” Soave DOC Classico 2018

Showing a slightly off-gold appearance, the Inama 2018 Soave Classico Foscarino offers broad intensity and a very dry approach with lots of mineral definition followed by baked apple and pear. The wine is contoured and dense from a textural point of view, making it a great choice for white meat or tandoori cooked meats with extra cumin and spice. I love the angular or sharply etched side of this pretty white wine.

94
APRIL 2022
Inama “Foscarino” Soave DOC Classico 2019

The 2019 Soave Classico Foscarino is honeyed and floral, with hints of almond paste enriching the crushed apples and pears that form its bouquet. This is rich and pliant, almost glycerol-like in feel, contrasted by depths of saline-minerals and citrus-tinged acidity. It’s a remarkably deep and almost heady experience wine, yet it’s balanced by a serious salty character that turns floral toward the close with a hint of young kiwi. The 2019 is a really fascinating expression of textures and perfumes. Color me impressed.

91
NOVEMBER 2021
Inama “Foscarino” Soave DOC Classico 2018

Aromas of pressed Spanish broom, ripe yellow stone fruit, hazelnut and cedar mingle. On the rounded palate, well-integrated acidity lifts mature yellow peach, lemon drop candy, butterscotch and toasted almond.