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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
REGION: 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

Foscarino Soave Classico 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. 

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 "I PALCHI" FOSCARINO GRANDE CUVÉE SOAVE DOC

I Palchi was born from the collective desire of the 3rd generation of the winery to pursue their ambitious goals in expressing the potential of their family's work and land.  I Palchi is a new wine for the estate that redefines the characteristics of Soave Classico.  Only the finest micro parcels of old vine Garganega planted in terraces across the slopes of Monte Foscarino, an inactive volcano, are selected for this new wine.  The resulting wine is one that encapsulates the best of this ancient volcano and territory - refined and elegant with the persistent minerality and complexity that only wines from volcanic soils can exhibit.

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 CABERNET 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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93
APRIL 2022
Inama "Carbonare" Soave DOC Classico 2019

The 2019 Soave Classico Carbonare is pretty and understated, yet with a lovely sweetness mixing peach with stone dust and hints of wet slate. This is round yet delicate, with a salty flourish that evolves into tart orchard fruits and spice. A primary concentration saturates long through the structured finale, with a citrus rind intensity that lingers. This is a hugely promising and powerful vintage of Carbonare.

93
AUGUST 2022
Inama "Carbonare" Soave DOC Classico 2020

A slightly honeyed undertone to the effusive, mineral nose with lemon zest and sliced apples. Pure and elegant on the palate, with fresh, zesty acidity cutting it through before a subtle and mineral finish. Drink now.

90
JANUARY 2023
Inama “Carmenère Più” Veneto Rosso IGT 2019

Delivers a waft of cured tobacco on the nose that continues on the palate, accenting concentrated black currant, orange peel, iron and stone notes. Medium- to full-bodied, with fine, crisp tannins emerging to firm the spiced finish. Drink now through 2028.

95
FEBRUARY 2024
Inama "I Palchi" Foscarino Grande Cuvée Soave DOC 2021

The 2021 Soave Classico I Palchi Foscarino Grande Cuvée is a platinum-golden color with a youthfully intense bouquet that blends raw almond with stone dust, dusty dried flowers and Asian pear. This seduces with its silken textures and supple personality, washing across the palate with crisp, ripe orchard fruits complicated by a salty mix of savory herbs and minerals. The 2021 tapers off dramatically long and fresh, leaving a resonance of mint and liquid stone.

92
AUGUST 2022
Inama “Vin Soave” Soave DOC Classico 2021

A bone-dry, mineral Soave Classico with a mineral whiff to the limey citrus and green apples. Taut and textured on the palate, underscoring purity and elegance. Drink now or hold.

93
AUGUST 2022
Inama “Carmenère Più” Veneto Rosso IGT 2019

Very focused and tangy nose with lots of white pepper and peppercorn that jump out first, followed by dried herbs, bark and red berries. Really elegant on the medium-bodied palate, with fine, silky tannins. Very different from Chilean counterparts, more akin to a fine Chinese cabernet gernischt, which is carmenere. Delicious now, but will hold, too.

91
DECEMBER 2021
Inama “Bradisismo” Colli Berici Cabernet DOC 2017

This wine is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and a little ribbon on the front label reminds us of this fact. The Inama 2017 Colli Berici Cabernet Bradisismo is Cabernet Sauvignon with a smaller element of Carmenère. This is a spicy wine with black fruit aromas of blackberry and dried Morello cherry. There are plenty of savory notes at the back, with crushed black pepper, tar, smoke and licorice appearing in big doses. This is a mid to full-bodied red to pair with marinated meat.

89
MARCH 2023
Inama “Oratorio di San Lorenzo” Colli Berici DOC Carmenère Riserva 2011

Darkly floral and a bit herbal in the glass, the 2011 Oratorio di San Lorenzo Riserva opens with a mix of crushed raspberry, cedar and brown spice offset by hints of rosemary and crushed ashen stones. It's softly textured yet quickly gains in tension as tart red fruits stain the palate, and nervous acidity adds a wiry feel. This finishes potent and staining with a licorice and black raspberry concentration, as grippy tannins still resonate throughout. The Oratorio di San Lorenzo Riserva is a varietal Carménère refined in 100% new oak barriques. (tasted Dec 2022)