House: Fuedo Italia
Name: Amarone della Valpolicella
Origin: Veneto, Italy
Price: 124 DKK/16,70 EUR/20,70 USD on winefamly.dk (market price 245 DKK/32,90 EUR/40,80 USD)
Veneto as a wine region
Veneto is increasingly important region located in Northeastern Italy. As the name suggests, the capital of this region is beautiful Venice. However, as the wine capital of Veneto is considered to be Verona. Remember Romeo and Juliet? This is where everything went down. It is one of the smallest regions in Italy however, they produce more wine than any of them.
Valpolicella is one of the sub-regions of Veneto. Besides dry or sweet white wines under designation of Soave, this region is most famous, as name suggests, for red Valpolicella wines. They range from quite light Valpolicella Classico, Ripasso etc. to quite intense Amarone, on which we will take a closer look today. But why is Amarone so special (and way more expensive than regular Valpolicella)?
What is Amarone?
Amarone is intense dry red wine that is made from dried grapes. The reason behind this method of wine-making is to increase the intensity of wines. Venetian winemakers wanted to have intense wine in their cellars as well but it was not possible due to the fact, that the grapes use for production of Valpolicella (more in the tasting section) are quite light.
A lot of discoveries were made by mistake. And the same goes for Amarone. This method was originally used to make sweet Recioto della Valpolicella. Winemakers left the grapes to ferment for too long and hence, Amarone was born. Luckily, it managed to get recognition with time and was not dismissed as a mistake. Name comes from word Amaro which stands for bitter.
Grapes are left to dry for anywhere from three weeks to three months. The juice is then fermented to dry. Due to the potential sugar content, Amarone wines have higher alcohol content (15-16%).
Let’s take look at today’s wine which is, as expected, Amarone.
Fuedo Italia, Amarone della Valpolicella
This Amarone consists of unspecified blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. What strikes me at first is its intense red-bordeaux color and high thickness.
In the nose I get very strong chocolate and oak notes. Higher alcohol content (15% in this case) is apparent in nose as well. The taste confirms the nose with a hint of ripe cherries. Due to the method of making the wine, it has a high level of tanins and has quite bitter and very long aftertaste (hence the name).
Normally, I do not have a problem with finishing the bottle once I open it. Here I cannot. Amarone is very intense, powerful wines which goes well with rich beef dishes or game. Keep in mind that this wine is only for lovers of powerful wines and I do not mean the alcohol content. If you are used to drink lighter wines, such as Burgundy for example, this wine is not for you. I definitely enjoyed it but with moderation.