Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico by Bertani
If you were writing an entry for Amarone in the dictionary, you might as well put a picture of Bertani’s Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. If anything is the purest (and purist) expression of the style which has come to define Amarone, forceful but integrated, enormous but elegant, fruit-forward but subtle. If you want to know what Amarone is all about, this is as good a place to start as any – and for seasoned drinkers, as reliable and cheering as an old friend.
Winemaking: fermented with spontaneous wild yeasts. Grape drying takes place on bamboo mats for 120 days, with crushing and fermentation taking place in concrete, before barrel-ageing in large Slavonian oak botti for up to 7 years prior to release.
Assemblage: corvina veronese 80%, rondinella 20%.
Soil: calcareous, with some basalt.
Colour: more red than true purple, but opaque.
Aroma: extremely characteristic red and black cherries, with a marked hazelnut edge and strong cinnamon and black pepper, not to mention touches of cocoa and light, bright coffee.
Palate: huge, juicy fruit, damson and cherry, but marvellously combined weight, smoothness and surprisingly refreshing acidity. Tannins beautifully structured but integrated, with sweeter oak spice balancing the more bitter cherry and coffee notes.
Ageability: one of those wines which is released with a bit of age on it already, this one is designed to last for years and years.
Pairing: richer stews of course, but has the elegance and freshness to stand up to more tomatoey dishes as well as the usual aged cheese (or, indeed, tipsy philosophising).