Saturday, March 12, 2011
Amarone: A Pillar of Italian Wine
Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, or as it is commonly known as, Amarone, is one of the four pillars of Italian wine; the others being Brunello, Barolo and Barbaresco. It comes from the hills north of the city of Veneto in the Valpolicella wine region. Amarone is made from the partially dried grapes of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. The grapes are place in a well-ventilated room for three to four months where the flavors become very concentrated. It was awarded DOC status in 1990 and DOCG in 2009 (that's a good thing).
Amarone Della Valpolicella Classico DOC Cantina di Negrar 2005 was a pleasure to drink. This was the first Amarone we have imbibed. The bouquet was strong and consistent with a fruitiness and hints of cherries, chocolate and prunes. The flavor was full-bodied and rich, well structured and exquisitely balanced, smooth and opulent. The tannins were soft with a gentle and enjoyable finish. After Mary, Angela and I took our first sips, we knew we were in the presence of a very, very fine wine. Amarone goes beyond drinking a good wine. Amarone gives true pleasure and is a delight.
You can serve Amarone after decanting for two hours. Serve it below room temperature because of the high alcohol content. Cost wise, Amarone can be rather steep. Expect to spend over $30.00 easily. However, I believe it's worth the cost just to experience a fabulous wine.