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The Coffele family have marvelous hillside vineyards of which they take great care, farming organically. The result is a wine of purity and class, and which shows what a lovely wine Soave can be in the right hands.
Product Code: IT23361
View all products by Azienda Agricola Coffele Alberto
In 1971 Giovanna Visco and her husband Giuseppe decided to retire from teaching to breathe new life into Giovanna’s family’s estate: a property with cellars in the old walled village of Soave that had lain dormant for over 30 years. Today their children, Alberto and Chiara, are in control of the day-to-day running and are the head and heart of the place. They are fully aware that the ingredients for a great wine come from the land itself. Around 30 hectares of immaculate vineyards are planted in the Soave Classico zone around Castelcerino (200-350m above sea level) on perfectly exposed hillsides. The garganega grape variety from this location is prized for its ripeness and natural acidity when it ripens slowly, allowing for exceptional flavour development. Coffele’s wines often go a step beyond their peers, with the hard work and careful attention to detail that is given to the vineyards. The grapes are all hand-harvested using multiple passes through the vineyards to ensure picking at the perfect moment of ripeness. This producer is doing a great job, maintaining standards of Soave that some of their neighbours in the area, with much larger resources, would be proud to achieve. The wines are typically high in finesse with delicate mineral notes.
Three regions constitute this wide and varied area. In the very north-east, abutting Slovenia and Croatia lies Friuli-Venezia Giulia. South and east of Venice spreads the broad swathe of the Veneto, one of Italy’s main wine producing areas in terms of volume. Finally, falling from the foothills of the Dolomites is Trentino-Alto Adige.Since the 1970s Friuli-Venezia Giulia has earned a fine reputation for high-quality white wines and a burgeoning one for reds. Most of the estates here are family owned with some co-operatives dotted around. Much of the inland area is hilly or mountainous with flatter vineyards sited around the Isonzo River as it comes down to the sea. The two principal white wine making areas are the Friuli Colli Orientali in the north-west and Collio Goriziano in the centre and east around the curve of the Slovenian border. The Orientali vineyards are in the lee of the Julian Alps and are cooler than the vineyards of Collio Goriziano though they are protected from northerly winds and have a more continental climate. They sit at altitudes of between 330 and 1200 metres on soils that were once beneath the ocean, so marl and sandstone predominate. The Collio Goriziano vineyards enjoy slightly greater influence from the Adriatic to the south, though the cool air draining from the higher ground in the north plays its part, and the vineyards sit upon the many steep slopes in this hilly country.Pinot grigio was an early success here and is still widely made, but chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot bianco have joined local varieties like tocai fiuliano, picolit and verduzzo in producing some of Italy’s freshest and most interesting white wines. Local varieties like schioppetino and refosco have struggled to find an audience outside of the region in the past though this is changing, and some Bordeaux blends from the Grave region of free draining alluvial soils are making people sit up and take notice.Trentino-Alto Adige was once part of the Austro-Hungarian empire and in the northern parts of the province (Alto Adige) German is still widely spoken. Indeed, the architecture, food and customs owe much to their Teutonic roots and there are elements that remain in the vineyards that echo a Germanic past. Riesling is planted here and the village of Tramin gave its name to the gewürztraminer grape which is now so widely planted in another region with Germanic influences, Alsace. To reinforce that comparison, sylvaner, muscat, müller-thurgau and pinot gris (grigio) are also to be found here. Alto Adige is also known as the Süd-Tyrol (South Tyrol) and lies on the border with Austria and is Italy’s most northerly wine region. Here the vines grow in the foothills of the Alps, on the lower slopes along the Adige Valley. Altitudes vary between 200 and 1000 metres. White wines made the reputation of the region for their lively, fresh purity but reds are grown here too. Schiava and the burlier lagrein are the indigenous varieties much used here, though bracing cabernet sauvignon and merlot wines are made from plantings that can struggle to ripen and escape some greenness. Some very fine pinot noir wines are having an impact for their high-class and poise.The Veneto is something of a vinous bread basket. The soils are fertile, which is not usually propitious for fine wine production, and officially permitted yields are unacceptably high. The region produces enormous quantities of everyday wines for exporting and blending but also embraces the Valpolicella region where the jewel in the crown is Valpolicella Amarone, the sweetly rich, full-bodied expression of semi-dried corvina and rondinella grapes that is sought after the world over. Though bulk production, particularly through large and highly-efficient co-operatives, is still prevalent the improvements in winemaking and viticulture are clear, and there are many producers in formerly workaday DOCs like Valpolicella and Soave who are turning their corvina, rondinella, garganega and trebbiano di lugana (turbiano) grapes into vinous gems. Prosecco is also produced here from the glera grape in the hills around Conigliano almost due north of Venice, and is something of a worldwide phenomenon in terms of sales volume. As ever, there is a lot of basic fizz but the producers who take a little more care in vineyards and wineries are making delicious bubblies at all price levels.
"Traditionally, Soave is a safe, dry white wine. Periodically, there is an article arguing that Soave can be exciting in the right hands etc. So I tried this one. It's fine, medium bodied, round, some pear like flavours, but it's still not very exciting."
"A very refreshing wine. There is neutral green fruit on the nose, fresh acidity and riper fruit on the palate. Simple flavours of ripe pear and green apple followed by a distinct almond finish make this an enjoyable wine, particularly at 12.5% abv."
I would recommend this wine
"Lovely light mid palate pear and tropical fruit that seems to go on a long time as the slightly salty finish tightens. Quite interesting, very enjoyable."
"Pale straw colour. Nice acidity and very balanced. Very good Soave. White fruit finish"
"White fruits. Good acidity. Very balanced medium bodied. Good value 7/10"
"Traditionally, Soave is a safe, dry white wine. Periodically, there is an article arguing that Soave can be exciting in the right hands etc. So I tried this one. It's fine, medium bodied, round, some pear like flavours, but it's still not very exciting."
Decanter 4th Apr 2018
"With the 2014 vintage
Coffele's vineyards were the first in the Classico zone certified organic. This
current Castel Cerino bottling, a cru, balances subtle stone fruit and
mineal-like flavours. Lively, with a hint of bitterness on the finish adding to
its appeal. - Michael Apstein"
Liverpool Echo 4th Nov 2017
"The wine has a lovely
freshness with aromas of citrus fruit and springtime flowers and a vibrant
acidity. - Jane Clare"
The Sunday Times 24th Sep 2017
"Soave is cultivated
up in the hills that surround Verona, and often produces light, nutty wines.
Light and bright, with pleasing aromas of white fruit, it finishes dry and
saline. Enjoy with a feta cheese salad. - Will Lyons"
Yorkshire Post 16th Sep 2017
"Giuseppe Coffele is
73 but he still turns up for work at his winery in the heart of Soave town
every day. With 27 hectares of vines at around 260m above sea level based on
limestone, he is definitely in favour of pergola training for Garganega grapes.
His wines have a distinct concentration, vivacity and depth. - Christine Austin"
Decanter 5th Apr 2017
forward nose: ripely fruity with notes of apple, pear and mandarin. Fleshy and
ripe, floral-toned pear fruit palate with decent acidity and good balance;
finishes well. Outstanding value for money. - Michael Garner"
"I agree entirely with the last review. I have tasted this wine over several vintages and keep hoping it will develop some personality. However each vintage remains dull. Soave should be deliciously lemon fresh and zingy. Try the cheaper Blind Spot garganega for a taste of the real thing."
Raymond A Fulton (15-Jun-2017)
"This is a lovely wine soft and easy to drink. I enjoyed mine with tandoori salmon and it was the perfect partner, cant wait to try in the summer .I have added a couple more bottles to my next order so that says enough."
Mr Terry Bates (21-Feb-2017)
"Very nice indeed. Light and lemony, great with food or without. For choice I'd probably opt for the Society's Verdicchio especially as its a bit cheaper, but that's nitpicking and this is good stuff."
Mr Michael Ahlquist (01-Dec-2016)
"This is a lovely, soft, delicious Italian wine. Not challenging, or harsh, or too acidic. In fact this Soave is slightly off dry but in an elegant and reserved way. My preference is generally for more austere white wines, much dryer, flinty and minimalist but some days I can really appreciate a more gentle approach to life, and on those days this is an excellent choice! Vino biologico too!"
Mr Jonathan Lloyd-Platt (07-Jun-2016)
manchesterconfidential.com (15th Dec 2016)
"... with your smoked
salmon starter ... uncork a bottle of this excellent value estate-bottled
Italian white, full of fruit and finesse but with enough minerality to handle
the smoke. - Neil Sowerby"
Sheffield Profile (1st Dec 2016)
alternative to more traditional choices. Ideal as an aperitif, with smoked
salmon or as the white choice with the turkey."
Belfast Sunday Life (27th Nov 2016)
"Soave is a very
versatile wine and ideal as an aperitif, but also works well with smoked salmon
starters and then will carry on through to the turkey dinner for those who want
to stick with white. - Paula Gracey"
Shropshire Star (23rd Nov 2016)
"Super-smart Soave and
makes a great and wonderfully versatile alternative to more traditional
choices. Ideal as an aperitif, with smoked salmon or as the white choice for
the turkey, this estate bottled Soave is characterful and has a wonderful
purity of fruit. Excellent value."
York Press (19th Nov 2016)
"A slight shift from
the usual Christmas classics ... made from the underrated Garganega grape (and
hailing from the Soave wine region which is so good that it, along with the
more famous Chianti, was the first zone in Italy to be recognized by Royal Decree
as being able to produce fine wines willy-nilly).
A 12.5 per cent dry white, it is one for all types of fish and seafood but
would also blend with turkey and at the same time cut through the lashings of
gravy. It'd probably even make sprouts taste pleasant. ... it's another
high-standard easy drinker, so can be enjoyed before and after the big dinner,
as well as during. - Peter Martini"
Portsmouth News (12th Nov 2016)
"... when it is made
with care Soave is a very versatile food wine. I really enjoyed [this one],
made from the local garganega grape, which is grown organically. It’s very
fresh with lovely hints of apple blossom and almonds, before a nicely-textured
mouth feel, which is well-balanced with refreshing acidity. This is a real
crowd-pleaser which would work with pasta dishes or perhaps cold cuts on Boxing
Day. - Alistair Cooper"
Belfast Newsletter (5th Nov 2016)
"Wine of the week:
Startlingly crisp, nutty and elegantly perfumed. Plenty of lemony zip and
almondy bite with pronounced melon, pineapple and honeysuckle notes on a juicy
palate, it mirrors, if I may quote my beloved, "all the brightness and
boldness of the hopelessly romantic, passion-charged Italian heart." One
to try with seafood or white meat. - Raymond Gleug"
"What a great wine! Had it with some beef carpaccio and a side Greek salad and it was a perfect match. Very fresh and with a good level of acidity it makes an excellent summer drink. Outstanding value for your money!"
Mr Stefano Manganini (02-Apr-2016)
"On the nose apple, but what's more interesting is the nectarine and floral notes. On the palette there's fizzy citrus acidity and cashew nut like richness, quite a big mouthfeel. Right at the end there's a long lingering bitter pink grapefruit acidity. Lots of components that really work well together in this high quality wine, absolute bargain, have already added another bottle to my basket."
Mr Anthony O'Halloran (18-Oct-2015)
"Very drinkable, lots of flavour, refreshing and interesting to drink. Fair value given the competition. Would be one of those quiet unassuming Society bargains if it was a pound a bottle less."
Mr Nigel H D Green (12-Jan-2015)
"A Soave to change your mind about Soave forever. Everything about this wine in the glass belies its price and the Soave reputation. The Coffele label is highlighted in 'The World Atlas of Wine' as an example of Soave Classico that tries harder and the results are impressive. Full in the mouth but with bags of fruity zing and very fresh with a decent length of aftertaste. I'll be buying a case of this with my next order before it goes."
Mr John Dryburgh (14-May-2014)
"Utterly drinkable. Soft acidity and that characteristic almondy edge make this a lovely wine to drink on its own or with delicate food."
Mr Richard Holmes (02-May-2012)
"This is a punchy, fruity little number which serves well as an easy drinking mid-weeker. Loads of apples, melons and possesses reasonable acidity. Pleasant, if disposable."
Mr William Davies (07-Nov-2011)
"Lovely and fresh. Great on its own or with fish"
Mr David Emes (11-Aug-2011)
"This wine is a very austere dry style of Soave. I know there are different syles depending on producer. I prefer the more classical fruitier waxy style with a hint of citrus. The Society should make this clear in the tasting notes which only describe the location of the cellar and vineyard. Is being opposite Pieropan a case of reflected glory?"
Dr Raymond A Fulton (21-Sep-2010)
"Light and rather vague peachy nose, the palate is surprisingly full bodied and develops well with lots of stone fruit flavours. Limited length but for the price this is a delightful wine, extremely drinkable and good value."
Dr Timothy M G Ward (11-Oct-2009)
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We do moderate comments and reviews, purely to ensure that content published on The Wine Society's website is of value to members, and is fair and balanced. We're delighted to say that in the vast, vast majority of cases, our members' input is just that! We will normally approve comments for publication as long as they:
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The Society's wine buyers work very closely with our suppliers to determine how best to seal our wines. We list below those closures currently in use with a brief description of each.
A technical cork made up of the remnants from the production of natural corks which are ground down into particles and cleaned and then combined using a food-grade polyurethane glue. A cheaper closure which The Society's buyers discourage suppliers from using.
A technical cork made from cheaper-grade natural cork where the naturally occurring pores are filled with ground down cork particles and then the whole is sealed with a food-grade wax coating. Generally only used for wines with a short shelf-life.
Diam corks look like agglomerate corks but are far superior and are designed to put an end to cork taint and random oxidation. The production process chops cork into pieces and sorts the superior, highly elastic, suberin component from the less elastic lignin, which is discarded. It mixes the suberin with microscopic spheres of the same substance used for contact lenses, which fills the voids between the cork particles reducing porosity to air and increasing elasticity without introducing humidity. Finally the pieces are mixed with a glue and moulded under pressure. The mechanical properties of the cork are guaranteed for a certain minimum number of years depending on the grade of cork - for example Diam 2 is guaranteed for two years; Diam 3, 5 and 10 are also available.
The Champagne cork is 90% agglomerate made from cork off-cuts which are ground down, cleaned, compressed and then glued together with two disks of good quality natural cork glued onto the end which protrudes into the bottle.
Natural corks harvested from the cork oak (Quercus suber) forests in Spain and Portugal have been the closure of choice for wine for the 300 years. The bark of the cork oak is stripped from mature trees every nine years. The planks are stored and then cleaned and graded before the corks are punched out of the wood. For wines destined for long-ageing, high-grade natural corks are still the closure of choice.
Cost-effective synthetic 'corks' made from food-grade plastic with a silicone coating (similar to that used on natural corks). Generally used for wines for short-term cellaring.
A glass stopper with a plastic 'O' ring which acts as an interface between the top of the bottle and the stopper, held in place by a metal, tamper-proof seal. Relatively expensive as a closure and not widely used. Can be removed by hand.
A short natural or agglomerate cork with a plastic or wooden top to enable the stopper to be removed by hand. Traditionally used for whiskies, sherries, Madeira etc.
Aluminium alloy screwcaps made with an expanded polyethylene wadding for the lining. Screwcaps are also known as ROTEs (roll-on tamper evident) or by the brand name (Stelvin is a popular brand). Widely used in Australia and New Zealand and for wines for short-term cellaring. Becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of allowing differing levels of permeability so mimicking the properties of natural cork offering winemakers more choice depending of the style of wine being made. There is still a lack of sound data regarding the performance of screwcaps for longer-term cellaring.
This is an agglomerate cork with a disk of good-quality natural cork adhered to both ends. A reasonably priced, reliable alternative to natural cork.
This is the metal pilfer-proof cap usually used to seal beer bottles but also used in the production of Champagne and sparkling wine when wines are stored under crown cap before the dosage is added. A few producers use crown caps to seal wine bottles. Open with a standard bottle opener.
Jamie Goode has written an excellent book on the subject of closures for those wishing to find out more (Wine Bottle Closures, Flavour Press).
Alcohol by volume%
Units per standard bottle
The Society includes the alcohol by volume percentage figure for each wine available online, in Lists and offers.
It is generally accepted that alcohol levels in wine have been increasing in the last 20 years. There are many reasons why, but the single most important factor is the vast improvement in vineyard management techniques which have resulted in healthier, riper fruit being harvested. Alcohol is a by-product of the fermentation of sugars in the grapes and the best-quality wines are made from grapes that have reached physiological ripeness (colour, flavour and tannin), and this generally happens after sugar ripeness.
There are several techniques that can be used to reduce alcohol levels but currently most are intrusive and strip flavour as well as alcohol and we don't buy wines made in this way. In actual fact, more than half of our still table wines have an abv of 13% or less. Members looking to choose wines with lower levels of alcohol can now search our range by level of alcohol.
Excellent-quality wine is at the heart of everything we do at The Wine Society and balance is the single most important feature of quality. The interaction of a wine's main components of sugar, acidity, tannin, alcohol and flavour matter more than the actual level of alcohol. A well-made wine of 14.5%, for example, will taste more balanced than an inferior-quality wine with 10% alcohol. Furthermore, alcohol levels are only a guide to a wine's fullness: a 12.5% cabernet sauvignon may feel heavier and more full-bodied in the mouth than, say, a gamay of 13.5%. Members should refer to the wine's tasting note for a description of the style and fullness of the wine.
The Society is committed to promoting the responsible enjoyment of wines and spirits by providing relevant information to our members that allows them to make their own informed choices. An additional figure is beginning to be used on labels: the number of (UK) units of alcohol contained in that bottle. This is simply the alcohol by volume percentage multiplied by the content. Thus a 13% wine in a standard 75cl bottle will have 9.7 units of alcohol. All new labels of Society and Exhibition wines will include this information. drinkaware.co.uk
The Society's buyers provide recommended drink dates for all of our wines to help members decide the right time to pop the cork.
Should be drunk over the coming months, certainly within the year.
Now to 2020
Ready to drink now but will keep until 2020.
2020 to 2042
We recommend keeping longer before opening. In 2020 it will be ready to drink but still young and will keep until 2042. It's a matter of personal taste when such wines should be drunk. Many members prefer to try the wines over many years from the opening drink date to the last to watch the wine evolve.
Within one year of purchase
A non-vintage wine that should be drunk within 12 months.
Within two years of purchase
A non-vintage wine that is ready now but will keep for two years.
As a general rule, most everyday white wines are best enjoyed within a year of purchase, and most everyday reds within two years.
Certain fine wines, however, those with the right structure and balance, have the ability to evolve over time and gain complexity and finer nuances of flavour.
Savouring the wonderfully complex and intense bouquet and flavour of a wine drank at its peak is undoubtedly one of life's greatest pleasures. As with people, the ageing process will vary from wine to wine. Over the years the wine's primary aromas of fresh fruit will develop more complicated and persistent secondary and tertiary aromas. The fruity flavours of, for example, a premier cru white Burgundy will, over time, evolve buttery, toasty and yeast aromas, or fine reds may develop coffee, cedar, tobacco, vegetal, or even 'animal' flavours as they age.
There is much pleasure to be had by experimenting with bottles at different stages of maturity; finding out how a wine evolves with age and, perhaps more importantly, establishing your own preference in terms of taste for mature wine are all part of the interest and excitement of cellaring wine.
The drinking window we provide is a guide to when the wines will be at their best. Many will favour the wines in the youthful early stages of their development; others will enjoy the wines at their most mature.
Decanting is a useful way of softening the tannins, rounding out the flavours and releasing the potential of a young wine. To find out more please visit our Serving Wine guide.
The Society's purpose-built, temperature-controlled Members' Reserves offers members access to optimum storage conditions for their wines.
For more help and advice about how best to enjoy your wines contact us via our enquiry form.
Oak plays a very important role in the production of wine throughout the world. However, the level of oak detectible in a wine can vary depending on a number of factors – for example, the age and size of the barrel and the type of oak used, as well as the length of time the wine is aged in wood. Oak also influences the structure and tannins of the final wine. For wines on our website, we use the following classifications:
This suggests that a wine has either seen no oak at all, or may have been produced using very large, old oak barrels, resulting in a wine that has no taste of oak. Expect these wines to be crisp, fruit-forward and aromatic.
Some oak has been used in the production, yet it has not been a defining factor in the style of the wine. In this instance, the oak may have played more of a part in the structure of the wine but there will still be discreet flavours associated with the use of new oak.
Wines that are defined by and known for their use of new oak. This must not be confused with a wine which is 'overly oaky' as that would purely be down to bad winemaking! We buy only wines that, we believe, use oak in a balanced and appealing way, enhancing flavour and complexity, and/or imparting structure.
How detectable oak is depends a good deal on the size of the barrel and how new it is. New oak provides a much more evident flavour and aroma and must be used carefully. The size of the barrel is important, as the smaller the barrel, the more surface area of the wine is in contact with the wood and the more flavour will be drawn out. Often, very large old oak barrels are used, which impart little or no oak flavour to the wine at all. They will still bring an extra dynamic to the final taste of a wine though, when compared to stainless steel or concrete vessels, as oak is porous and therefore lets a small amount of air into the barrel. This controlled oxidation has a positive effect on wines, softening the tannins and developing secondary flavours, all helping to add a complexity which comes with age.
There are many ways that people rate wines, whether it is on the 100 or 20 point scales, 5 stars, 3 glasses or simply thumbs up or down. The pleasure of a bottle of wine is hard to express in figures, but it does help give the memory of that wine a context, and a way of sharing your opinion with others.
In response to members' requests we have added a star rating option to the site so you can mark your favourites, or maybe those occasional less-than-welcome experiences, and make your next order easier.
You can use the 5-star rating tool to record your experiences however you wish, but if you are looking for some guidance we believe that a focus on the 'value' of the wine takes into account the quality but also the pleasure it provided, and whether it is something you would recommend to friends.