Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico by Tommasi
The flagship Amarone from renowned masters the Tommasi family. As is true of many of the most classic examples of the Amarone style from the old houses of the region, the priority here is balance as well as heft – to paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi, an elegant wine of a more civilised age.
Winemaking: all grapes handpicked before extensive drying (90 days!) in a fruttaio. Nearly a month of fermentation with natural yeasts in stainless steel before ageing in big and half-size Slavonian oak barrels for three years.
Assemblage: corvina veronese 50%, rondinella 30%, corvinone 15%, oseleta 5%.
Soil: from the Conca d’Oro and iconic La Groletta vineyards in the Valpolicella Classico area: the former provides substantial limestone deposits (always good for producing quality wine), while the latter is renowned for its clay and limestone mix, its sun exposure and its proximity to the cooling breezes from Lake Garda.
Colour: classic ruby-garnet colour, tending to purple at its most opaque.
Aroma: cherries of course, but also plums and even a raspberry-strawberry edge not common in Amarone, as well as tertiary notes like fresh leather and tobacco leaf.
Palate: all that sweet fruit is there (and more!), but it is brilliantly balanced by drying tannins and refreshing acidity, not to mention persistent but subtle oak touches.
Ageability: expect this to have a fine decade at least remaining.
Pairing: as ever duck or wild boar must be suggested, as well as meditative moments, but my wildcard here is a very rare burger of proper quality