It has been a while since I did a wine review. Like everyone else, life happens, so my time to indulge in both drinking wine AND researching it for a blog post has been limited. So I have just been drinking and skipping the research part!
In preparation for an upcoming trip to Italy, I thought I would spend a little time checking out this nice Amarone. It is not the first I’ve tried, but it is the first bottle I ever bought.
About the Varietal
In Italian, the name “Amarone” literally translates to “the Great Bitter”. By reputation, Amarone is a rich dry red wine made primarily from partially dried Corvina and Rondinella grapes. Other grape types may be added as well although the percentage is limited. For this particular wine, Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes were used.
This wine (Amarone della Valpolicella) is made in the “appassimento” method, which involves drying the grapes prior to fermentation. The grapes are harvested in early October and allowed to dry for roughly 120 days. Traditionally the drying process was by placing the grapes on straw mats although now the appassimento method involves placing the grapes in special drying chambers which control the environmental conditions and minimizes the handling of the fruit.
In the wine name, Valpolicella refers to a province of Verona, which is near the city of Venice. Wines have been produced there since before the time of the Romans, at least to the time of the ancient Greeks. In fact, the appassimento method of using partially dried grapes is often referred to as the “Greco” or “Greek style” of winemaking.
Although the use of partially dried grapes is different from most winemaking, fermentation for this wine follows the usual process. For this Amarone, the wine is stored for 3 years in oak casks before bottling. Because of the drying of the grapes, Amarone tend to be full-bodied wines with very little acidity and a high alcohol content compared to other non-fortified wines.
Secoli Amarone della Valpolicella Tasting Notes
Beautiful dark ruby color. On the nose are dried cherries and plums. Full-bodied but smooth, Long, dry finish with spicy chocolate and dates, a little pepper at the end. Deceptively complex. EXCELLENT introduction for Amarone wines.