Simply delicious on almost any account, this wine is overflowing with pretty much everything you can think of that makes a really great red wine. Structured, alcoholic, tannic, full-bodied, smooth, rich, dark, complex, dense, powerful, intense, concentrated and has a very, very long finish. Size isn't everything, but this is 16.5% alcohol.
This is a monstrous wine that deserves respect as much as it has earned immense popularity and praise. Black fruits, cherries, Christmas cake and spices - this is wine for very special occasions.
Made from Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella, the classic Valpolicella grape varieties, this is an execution that the Zenato family are rightly proud to stand over. Famed for their whites that are grown on the slopes beside Lake Garda, they are relative newcomers to red wine production, but their steadfast adherence to vineyard management and good practices that have made such wonderful whites has become the bedrock for the success of their reds.
You can't perhaps get the minerality that the whites have in a red like this, but you do see balance and finesse that their white wine heritage provides. It's a very even-handed and pleasing transition from one discipline to the next.
Amarone is a wine style that 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 racks are placed for the duration in the lofts of barns in the region (that's the old-fashioned way at least - these days it's in specially controlled winery centres).
After this period, the semi-dried grapes are vinified and the knock-on effect of this drying is simply mind-blowing.
The alcohol, colour, flavour, structure and acid potential 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.
Style: Structured, Smooth, Silky, Rich, Powerful, Intense, Iconic, Full, Dark, Creamy, Complex, Broad, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, St Stephen's Day, Red Meats, Grills, Game, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles