Thirty or forty years ago, Soave, as was the case with its Tuscan cousin Chianti, suffered the ignominy of becoming a “brand” name, a generic term for mass-produced, easy-drinking Italian white wine. A lightweight in style and aesthetics, the Pinot Grigio of its day. Leonardo Pieropan and other astute producers brought the Garganega grape out of those dark ages and restored the reputation of one of Italy’s earliest DOC zones. His wines are notable for balance and finesse, for a crisply aromatic profile of minerals, peach, and melon. The same flavors carry through on a smooth, medium body accentuated by traces of slate and stone. The finish is deceptive – seemingly short, then a slow comeback that reintroduces minerality and reveals a floral quality. A wine that puts “classic” back into Classico. More wine reviews here.