As we approach the fall season, I cannot stop thinking of an all time Italian favorite wine for this fresh and cool time of the year, Amarone.
Amarone della Valpolicella is made to be guzzled down with gusto sitting by the fire with a piece of hard cheese such as Parmigiano Reggiano or Gorgonzola. It also is great with dark chocolate. Made by the Appasimento method, a technique used in the Veneto to concentrate flavors and aromas in wine. Amarone has a long history dating back to ancient roman times and was created by accident. It was a variation of Recioto, a sweet red wine of the region.
This big boy from Veneto is made mainly by local varieties that include Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara. It can also include other indigenous varieties such as Croatina, Negrara and Oseletta. The end result is a percentage mix of the varieties. The production techniques as mentioned by the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella are as follows:
Corvina (from 45 to 95%), nevertheless the presence of Corvinone is allowed to the extent of 50% in substitution of the same percentage of Corvina and Rondinella from 5 to 30%.
Non aromatic red-berried varieties recommended and allowed to be cultivated in the province of Verona can contribute to the blend to the extent of 15% of a Doc. A maximum of 25% in total in the winemaking can be represented by grapes coming from the following grapevines:
non aromatic, red-berried varieties allowed to the cultivation in the province of Verona to a maximum extent of 15%, with a maximum limit of 10% for every single variety used
red-berried Italian varieties which have been classified as native according to the provisions of law nr..82/06, art. 2, and are allowed to be cultivated in the Province of Verona, for the remaining total amount of 10%”.
This early summer, the Consorzio Tutela Vini Valpolicella stopped in Montreal to present some its member wine. A few of them striked my attention. Although, there was more Valpolicella Ripasso than Amarone.
A new producer brainchild of Giulia and Riccardo Cavedini. They are located in Marcellise, a satellite of the town San Martino Buon Albergo, situated east of Verona. They make an Valpolicella Superiore, the Amarone and a Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate comprises 10 ha of vineyards in the hills of Marcellise. Ricardo runs the domain and take care of the vineyards while Giulia, her daughter takes care of the commercial part.
Azienda Agricola Corte Scaletta Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG 2011
( Corvina 40%, Corvinone 30%, Rondinella)
On the nose, a remarkable palette of nuances: leather, paprika with smoke and dry black fruits. On the mouth, rich and opulent with outstanding finesse and elegance. Complex retronasal flavors that bring to mind chinese ink , cocoa and cofee. Round tannins complement the long and classy finale. Fabolous. An amazing wine with many years ahead of evolution. 95\100
I also tasted the wines of Cantina Tinazzi, part of the group Tinazzi. They produce both wine in the Veneto and Puglia. A Venetian family wine business with operations in Puglia as well.
Amarone della Valpolicella Selezione di Famiglia 2012.
Corvina 70%, Corvinone 20%, Rondinella 10%
On the nose, jammy black fruits with lots of black peppercorn character. Full body, austere and powerful with fine but sharp tannins. Lots of flavors on the palate that brings to mind dry brown earth, cocoa with indian spices. Very long in the mouth. Will keep for two or three decades easily. 92/100
La Bastia Amarone della Valpolicella 2012.
Corvina 60%, Corvinone 20%, Rondinella 15%, Molinara 5%
Black fruit jam on the nose with hints of balsamic condimento, raspberry liquor and dark chocolate. Polished and generous on the palate, with suave but thick tannins. Modern and sensual. 90/100
Unlucky for me, I cannot get this wines in the province of Quebec, so it was a real treat to taste them. But whenever you are, if you have a chance, grab them for your fall stash.