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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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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.

92
JULY 2021
Inama “Vin Soave” Soave DOC Classico 2020

A lavish bouquet of Provencal herbs greets your nose. It really is like walking around a street market in Nice. Other nuances are apple and mineral-based. Medium-to full-bodied with intense balance of perfumed, saline minerals and persistent fruit that gives a tasty finish. The interest never flags here. Drink now.

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.

93
JULY 2021
Inama "Carbonare" Soave DOC Classico 2019

Intense floral and mineral character to this with notes of ripe pineapple on the nose that grow in intensity on the medium-to full-bodied palate, before giving way to a long and tight, almond-milk and mineral finish. I like the progression through this. Drink now.

90
APRIL 2022
Inama “Vin Soave” Soave DOC Classico 2021

The 2021 Vin Soave isn’t bottled yet, but it is already firing on all cylinders. It’s amazingly floral and very pretty, yet understated with gingery spice, yellow flowers and a spritz of lime. This is silky and round with masses of saline-minerals, orangey fruits and unexpected depths. The finish is long and perfumed, leaning a bit toward the tropical spectrum. The 2021 totally punches above its price point

97
JULY 2021
Inama "I Palchi" Foscarino Grande Cuvée Soave DOC 2019

There’s incredible mineral presence here, from the nose right through to the finish. A aromatic mix of flint, tufo and wet-stone aromas, as well as heather and floral notes. Then, the palate finally introduces ripe peach and pineapple to this mineral carnival. Full-bodied, super-silky and almost syrupy texture with dense, ripe fruit and light phenolics. The long finish mixes stone-fruit and enough acidity to handle the same, huge bundle of rich, silky minerals. This is a special old-vine selection from the historic, volcanic Monte Foscarino vineyards. Quite unique in the Soave context, and showcasing one of the appellation’s top vineyard sites. Fermentation in a mix of barrel and oak cask. First vintage. Drink or hold.

93
JUNE 2020
Inama “Foscarino” Soave DOC Classico 2017

EDITORS' CHOICE

Aromas of acacia flower, honey and hazelnut meld with whiffs of graphite and mature yellow apple on the nose. The aromas follow over the savory palate along with lemon zest, yellow pear, fennel and bitter almond. Fresh acidity lift the rich flavors while a hint of saline graces the finish.

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.