Serious stuff with a captivating midnight-black colour and suave bouquet of black fruit, exotic spices and chocolate. Very powerful, voluptuous, with cocoa-dust tannins and profuse characters of cherry liqueur, espresso, prune, burnt brown sugar, balsam and blackberry tart. Hugely rich and long - what an experience!
Allow to breathe for an hour or two and sip on its own or pair with aged cheese, game or charred red meats.
This fine Amarone is a blend of local Veronese grapes Corvina (65%), Rondinella (20%) and Corvinone 15%. The vineyards are at 500 metres and the hand-harvest takes place in late-October. After the best bunches are selected, they are placed in drying lofts for 4 months, during which time the air desiccates the berries, causing them to shed 30% of their weight. After pressing and fermentation, ageing is 4 years in various types of vessels: large vat, smaller barriques (French and American oak of varying age) and stainless steel.
Amarone della Valpolicella (its full name) is one of Italy's most illustrious wines. It is unique in that it is made from semi-dried grapes and, while most passito wines (i.e. ones made from semi- or fully-dried grapes) are sweet, Amarone is generally dry (i.e. not sweet).
Any Italian wine with "Classico" in its name comes from the particular appellation' original heartland. While any Italian wine bearing the word "Riserva" has been aged for longer than the wine's standard version. Both terms are quality indicators.
The Amarone production method creates a useful by-product: the sugar-rich grape skins that remain after pressing are used to stimulate a second fermentation in basic Valpolicella, bolstering the wine and creating Valpolicella Ripasso.