A big, powerful and seductive red from the north of Italy, this is Amarone that is worth its mighty heft and the alcoholic toll that it may take. It is a very special Amarone as it is made by a winery much more associated with white wines, therefore giving it a vital and engaging liveliness that other 16% alcohol wines may (understandably) lack.
This is a bottle of richness and Christmas Cake spices that adorn cherry, dark berries and currant flavours. A soft and smooth wine that is made approachable because of the higher acidity that the Pieropan family are able to preserve in their grapes, grown on the slopes of Monte Garzon.
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.
This wine is aged for a period between 24 to 36 months in a combination of 225-litre and 500-litre barrels.
Grape(s): Rondinella, Croatina, Corvinone, Corvina
Style: Vibrant, Structured, Smooth, Silky, Round, Rich, Profound, Powerful, Organic, Meditation, Juicy, Intense, Iconic, Full, Fruity, Dark, Complex, Broad, Biodynamic, Balanced
Best food matches: Wild Boar, Venison, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Sausages, Roasts, Red Meats, Poultry, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef, Barbecue