Wine of the quarter – Our new series

05/05/17

Vineyards in the Valpolicella region in Italy

Source: winefolly.com/review/italian-wine-regions-map

Part 1: Amarone della Valpolicella

a. hartrodt italiana proudly announces a new periodical release called “the wine of the quarter” to be published on this website.

Amarone della Valpolicella is today unanimously recognized as one of the most important Italian red wines.

The heart of the productions is the Valpolicella Classica zone, a hillside amphitheatre between Verona and Garda Lake, where temperate climates prevail.  It is very appreciated by deman-ding consumers all over the world. It originated as an evolution of Recioto, one of the most ancient wines of our vine-growing and wine-producing history. Recioto is a sweet velvety wine (whose name comes from the vernacular word "recia, meaning "ear" because originally only the upper and better exposed part of the bunches were used). As time went by, owing to fermentation, the grapes started giving a much drier wine, though processes in the same way. If at the beginning this transformation could be a problem, then the resulting Recioto, rather bitter and dry, easily prevailed and was more and more appreciated and required. Such was the birth of Amarone (great bitter in Italian) that owes its name to the characteristic bitterness and was first bottled in the early years of the 20th century for family use or for friends; it was put on the market only after the second world war and in 1968 it received the controlled designation of origin (DOC).

Being a product that requires very high quality of the grapes and special care, almost at a craft level, it only represents a small percentage of the wine production; although since the second half of the Nineties its production increased considerably, when compared to Valpolicella Classico and Superiore, true symbols and strength of this area, the quantity of this wine will be always limited.

For the production of Amarone and Recioto della Valpolicella the maximum quantity of grapes allowed to be left to rest in crates is of 7.8 tons per hectare. The current production specifications establish the blend composition 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%.

Amarone is produced in strict accordance with the rules and is patiently left maturating until it becomes unique in the world and incomparable with its vivid bright colour, intense cherry, currant, chocolate, spices hints. Rich in substance, well-structured, full but at the same time soft, elegant perfectly balanced; very pleasant, soft, long-lasting to the palate, it will win everybody at the first sip. Unlike other great Italian red wines for ageing, its round tannins and juicy fruits make it appreciable also when young although this is a magnificent wine for ageing. The most refined wine-lovers all around the world have learned to prize its unique accent, its character as an old but modern and up-to-date wine, able to testify the greatness, charme, authentic magic of Valpolicella.

A young Amarone expresses dried fruits, dried flowers, sweet spices aromas with smooth but present tannins, and often you can still perceive some of the fresh fruity aromas typical of Corvina grape.

After 10 years of ageing in bottle, an Amarone will change its taste to something smoother and velvety, developing more distinct and complex tastes of dark chocolate, tobacco, coffee and leather.

After 15-20 years, an Amarone will develop aromas that modern palates might not appreciate if they are not used to such long aged wines. A wine that aged for 30 years or more will also become extremely delicate and you will have to drink it within few hours after opening because of fast oxidation.

It is important to take into consideration all these factors when deciding how long you want to leave a bottle of Amarone in your cellar.

Amarone is best paired with rich foods due to its strong flavor profile, robust nature and high alcohol: red meat, venison, aged cheese and traditional pasta dishes.

The bottle we are tasting is produced in 2008 with Corvina and Rondinella grapes. Pretty young, but well structured. Tanning is well perceived together with spices, aromas, long lasting to the palate. It reflects all the qualities of Amarone.

The FBLOG Italian team remains at disposal for any introduction to Italian producers in case of need for any importer.

Enjoy!

If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact our colleagues in Italy!

Mr. Virgilio Gazzolo
General Manager Marketing & Sales Italy
Phone (+39 010) 2497 214
virgilio.gazzolo@hartrodt.com

Mr. Marco Piccicacco
Sales Executive Italy/Genova
Phone (+39 010) 2497 214
marco.piccicacco@hartrodt.com