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Stefano Accordini Acinatico Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2016
Decanting time: 2 hours.
This Acinatico Amarone from one of the world most renowned estates, is a deep garnet red in color. The inviting warm, spicy bouquet, delivers a strong, complex aroma of dried fruit and emerging hints of vanilla.
Hailing from the Veneto region in northern Italy, the grapes (made primarily from Corvina), are harvested in the first week of September and air dried through traditional viticulture, which offer a tightly nuanced and restrained floral and aromatic taste absent from sugars.
This vintage benefits from at least two hours of aeration and is best served in a large glass to allow for the more subtle tones, like vanilla, the opportunity to expand. Gentle acidity heightens the discrete, crisp mouthfeel. Dryish to taste, this elegant vintage has soft, fine tannins, is immensely rich and broad, and possesses a subtle underlying core that benefits from its excellent structure, leading to a lingering, soft finish. The Stefano Accordini winery employs traditional methods of viticulture, offering some of the highest quality grapes from their low-yielding vines.
This Acinatico Amarone is still considered young and will keep well through 2024-2034 if stored properly. Serve with game, venison, grilled meats and aged cheeses to experience the sophistication this vintage lends.
Zyme Amarone della Valpolicella 2013
This majestic Amarone opens with notes of dried herbs, leather, smoky tobacco, and blackberries and blackcurrants, while the first sip reveals a bold full body, firm structure, and smooth and refined tannins. The palate is characterised by rich dark berry flavours seasoned with hints of sweet spices, baked earth, and leather which linger long on the tongue.
Winemaker Celestino Gaspari learnt the art of making magnificent Amarones while working with the legendary Giuseppe Quintarelli who would go on to become his future father-in-law as well as his mentor. After working as a consultant winemaker and helping to launch over a dozen wineries in the Veneto, Celestino decided to focus on realising his own dream and founded Zyme in his garage.
The grapes for this wine are sourced from old vines planted in the Negrar di Valpolicella commune and the wine is only made during the very best years. Following the harvest in late September the grapes are dried in the traditional manner for around 3 months to concentrate the flavours and sugar content. The grape must is then left to macerate and ferment using the wild yeasts naturally in the environment for some 2 months. The final step is extended maturation in huge Slavonian oak casks for at least 5 years and a further year of bottle ageing.
Brunelli Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico 2016
Set close to the village of San Pietro amongst the romantic rolling hills of the Valpolicella wine region, the Brunelli estate has been in the hands of the same family since it was founded in 1936. Today the winery is run by Luigi and Luciana along with their son Alberto who have sought to celebrate Valpolicella’s winemaking traditions while embracing modern techniques.
The family insist on harvesting all of their grapes by hand and they have also strived to preserve and recuperate little-known local grape varieties that have been forgotten or overlooked. Their flagship wines are the Brunelli Amarones which are made by selecting and harvesting the ripest grapes which are then left to dry over the winter. For their Amarone Classico the family chooses the finest Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Corvinone grapes which are dried and slowly fermented at low temperature. The wine is then allowed to mature in oak casks for 24 months.
This distinctive winemaking technique creates an incredibly concentrated nose which exudes crushed redcurrants, blueberries and red cherries along with hints of sweet spices from the oak. Take a sip and you’ll notice the full body, soft mouthfeel and luscious wild berry flavours which are carefully balanced by the fresh acidity. Thanks to this rich, generous character, this is an ideal partner for a hearty beef goulash, grilled red meats or even sweet-and-sour Asian dishes.
Rizzardi Calcarole Amarone Della Valpolicella 2011
This opulent single vineyard Amarone is only produced by the Rizzardi family during the very best vintages. The prized Calcarole vineyard is situated in the heart of Negrar in Valpolicella and has a particularly warm microclimate thanks to the steep hillside setting with a southwestern aspect and stony soils.
All of the grapes chosen for this wine are harvested by hand and undergo rigorous selection in the vineyard. In accordance with the traditional method of making Amarone, the grapes are dried in a well-ventiliated room for three and a half months to concentrate their aromas, flavours and sugars. They are then slowly fermented over the course of a month and matured for 12 months in smaller 5hl oak barrels followed by a further 24 months in 25hl oak casks.
The result is a decadent ruby-hued wine that explodes with rich aromas of black cherry jam, cinnamon, cloves and hints of dark chocolate and raisins. The first sip reveals a full body, firm structure and silky smooth mouthfeel with intense dark berry flavours balanced by a touch of freshness. This big personality would make an excellent match for intensely-flavoured dishes like roast venison, beef stroganoff or a generous hunk of aged Gran Padano cheese.
Corte Figaretto Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena 2015
Ideally drink until 2032.
Decanting time: 2 hours.
A serious, sleek and thoughtful wine from the Veneto region of Italy. The grapes undergo meticulous selection and stored on straw mats for approximately six weeks after harvest, following an ancient tradition that lends to an incredible density in concentration which provides the backdrop for a wine that will age exceptionally well.
Dark, opaque red in color. The nose is elegantly presented with a soft, full and accessible bouquet delicately infused with subtle hints of ripe red berries, rose spice and leather. This concentrated, very well-structured yet delicate dry wine offers a refreshing, lively mouthfeel. A fruit-centered Amarone showcases an abundant burst of fresh black currant flavor, gently moderated by pear and a hint of cardamom.
The bulky palate is expertly proportioned with the fine tannins and the strong, fruity notes, harmoniously following a smooth line towards a long, tightly-sustained finish. A blend of predominately Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes with 15% Oseleta, Croatina and Corvinone grapes, this is an equally powerful and delicate Italian Amarone.
Great ageing potential. Best before 2030. Aged 24 months in 25% new, 500 litre French barriques. Serve with spicy dishes, grilled or roasted red meats.
Awards for this vintage include 3 stars Verona Wine Top 2011 best wine of its category.
Fasoli Gino Alteo Amarone Valpolicella 2013
Fasilo Gino has its roots in the family farm that Amadio Fasoli founded in 1925 in the lower Illasi valley of northeastern Italy. Amadio planted vines on the property and began to sell wine to local bars and taverns in nearby towns and cities. Today the estate is run by Amadi’s grandson, Matteo Fasoli, who practices organic and biodynamic viticulture on the family’s 20 hectares of vines.
The Alteo Amarone is the Fasilo family’s flagship wine which offers a perfect balance between the power and richness of traditional Amarone and an elegant softness on the palate. Only the best bunches are selected to go into the Alteo and these grapes are left to dry in small wooden boxes for six months to concentrate the flavours and sugars. They are then fermented in stainless steel tanks and matured in oak barrels for at least three years.
The result is a magnificent Amarone which opens with intense aromas of raisins, black pepper, coffee and vanilla. On the palate the texture is rich and soft with a full body, smooth tannins and ripe dark fruit flavours which culminate in a very long finish. This is an ideal wine to serve alongside a special occasion meal of fresh pasta accompanied by a rich tomato sauce or a hearty beef bourguignon or goulash stew.