Award-winning, rare and aged to perfection, this 96-Point rated Riserva Amarone is one of the best wines we have ever sold.
Full of dark fruit flavours, elegantly powerful and layered with spices and Christmas-cake notes, macerated cherries and nutmeg, this is a stunning wine from one of the most highly-rated producers in the Valpolicella region. Made from a selection of the very best grapes in their vineyards, which are then dried on special bamboo crates for between four and five months, the wine that is produced has concentrated colour, flavours alcohol and structure.
It is one of the richest and best-loved wine styles made today.
Give someone a bottle of this stuff and they'll remember it (and you) for a very long time.
This is a wine for many occasions, but you'll possibly only think of a few each year. Birthdays, Christmas Dinner, Wedding Anniversaries... that sort of thing. It is a wine that is full of character, life, flavour, complexity and serious, serious quality.
In this particular verion, Le Ragose make it in a style that is, quite alarmingly, very dry - they really do ferment almost all of the residual sugar (and there is a lot of this in the dried grapes) into alcohol. The result is that at no point whatsoever do you feel that this is too "jammy" or even "Port-like", because there is a wonderful and, again, unexpected balance. This Amarone Riserva from Le Ragose is a rare version of a rare wine and really puts it at the top of the Amarone quality tree.
The Italian "Slow Food" publication, with Gambero Rosso, was the excellent Vini d'Italia, but the two houses went their separate ways about a decade ago. Slow Food Editore still review and rate wines that they think meet their strict criteria. Theirs is a very critical eye over what they taste and the levels to which the expect wines to achieve are very high. In 2023 their Top Wine was... Le Ragose Amarone Classico Riserva 2012. This wine.
This is what they say about the award:
"Top Wine which, in addition to having an excellent organoleptic quality, manages to condense in the glass characteristics linked to its territory, history and environment. The attribution of this symbol implies the absence of herbicides in the vineyard.
The Slow Wine category also considers the criterion of a good relationship between quality and price, taking into account when and where it was produced."
Decanter Magazine, in their "Recommended for 2024" section, rated the 2012 Riserva 96 Points.
I can go on and on about how wonderful this wine is, but its good to be able to get other people to do it for me from time to time...
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. 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.
As you can see from this current release from Le Ragose, Amarone is a wine that ages. Amarones typically age for well over a decade before starting to get to that glorious stage of plateau-like maturity. This one is released at elevn years old, so that it is already to go, bypassing any potential imbalance of youth. It's now so round and structured, that this 2012 stock will only develop more and more in the years to come.
Grape(s): Rondinella, Corvinone, Corvina
Style: Vibrant, Svelte, Structured, Smooth, Silky, Round, Rich, Profound, Powerful, Organic, Meditation, Intense, Iconic, Full, Fruity, Fleshy, Engaging, Elegant, Dry, Dark, Creamy, Complex
Best food matches: Wild Boar, Venison, Veal, Tapas, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Ribs, Red Meats, Poultry, Pork, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef, Barbecue