This is an Amarone that we've known for years that is genuinely wonderful as it not only delivers wonderful flavours, richness and texture, but it's organic, so you always feel that you're doing a good deed for the day. Layered and concentrated with flavours of Macerated Black Cherries, dried plums and spices, it has a full bodied structure that is balanced by velvety tannins.
It's also from the producers who were the first ever to bottle and sell wine labelled as Amarone, way back in 1934.
But seriously, it is very fine indeed and comes form only two vineyards that this very forward-thinking co-operative set aside for the production of this wine. The Cantina Valpolicella di Negrar is the only co-operative based in Negrar, which is the capital town of Valpolicella. It has a membership of over 200 and was established in 1933; over the years, however, the members were honest and open enough to see changes in the quality of the grapes being harvested, which led them to deveop a second, higher tier. This is the Domìni. Veneti line, from which this Amarone comes.
The two vineyards dedicated to this wine are situated at the top of a hill overlooking the town of Negrar and yield grapes of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella that have been certified organic since 2004.
Amarone is made by harvesting fully ripened grapes and leaving them to dry in (traditionally bamboo) wooden crates called Fruttaio for up to five months over the winter after harvest. This wine dries for 120 days, so slightly less, but that is the style of the house... The semi-dried grapes are then vinified and the knock-on effect of this drying is simply mind-blowing. The alcohol, colour, flavour, structure and acid in the wine all increase in proportion because of the removal of water from the grapes (grapes are about 85% water content); and, because these other components increase together, they retain balance in the resultant wine. Now, balance is a loose enough concept because the wines that come out of this process are immensely full-bodied and rich, but they are absolutely delicious.
This wine is aged for 18 months in wooden barrels and about 8 months on bottle thereafter. It is serious stuff: the winery themselves say that it "Accompagna ottimamente la conversazione a fine pasto e la meditazione", which is to say that it best accompanies conversation at the end of a meal and meditation. Good advice!
Grape(s): Rondinella, Corvinone, Corvina
Style: Smooth, Silky, Rich, Profound, Powerful, Organic, Meditation, Full, Complex
Best food matches: Venison, Red Meats, Grills, Game, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles