Wine Tasting Note:Bolla Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, 2004, Veneto, Italy. Available from Sainsburys for £16.99 An absolute age since I’ve sampled, let alone drank, an Amarone – so a joy to receive this last week. Has a gorgeous combination of richness, powerful structure, and ripe raisined fruit but also a dry, food-hugging, savoury finish. Nicely structured, good concentration, warm with crushed raisined fruit. Intense, herb-edged. As a substantial wine it requires substantial food to pair well making it a perfect wine for the winter months.
A blend of Corvina and Corvinone with a little Rondinella. Alcohol 15%. Plenty of potential to age in bottle. Scribblings Rating – 90/100 [3.75 out of 5]
The process used to make Amarone involves dried grapes and slow fermentation. The cooler climate of Veneto produces lighter, softer red wines to gain extra depth and flavour the grapes are partially dried before the wine making crush. This process gives some real oomph in comparison to a more basic Valpolicella, higher alcohol and a more intense experience over-all. Six Things About Amarone della Valpolicalla
The word Amarone comes from the Veronese dialect; it means dry.
The definition comes from the comparison with the Recioto, a sweet wine produced in Valpolicella with the same grapes and using the same vinification technique, but leaving a much higher amount of residual sugar.
The grapes used are the same as those in DOC Valpolicella, even if the percentage of Corvina is higher; however, unlike Valpolicella, Amarone is made exclusively from selected grapes grown on dedicated vineyards with the best micro-climate, sun exposure and soil type.
The grapes are picked and then arranged on flat drawers that easily fit into racks (or wooden cases), allowing a good circulation of air. It is very important that they be kept in a dry, cool, well-ventilated room.
In years past, bamboo, straw mats, or trellises were used to dry the grapes. The grapes are cleaned and turned about every 20 days and are constantly inspected during the four-month natural drying period.
This drying period causes a 40% loss of juice, resulting in grapes low in juice but extremely high in sugar and varietal character.