Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico Riserva “Ca’ Florian” by Tommasi
Tommasi’s cornerstone, made from old vines on a single vineyard that has belonged to the company for over a century. This is crème de la crème stuff, a deep, profound wine of absolutely indisputable quality.
Winemaking: all-manual harvest followed by meticulous selection. A very long period of appassimento, over three months, in a fruttaio with traditional arele (bamboo drying racks), followed by very gentle pressing and a month-long fermentation in oak using native yeasts. Ageing is conducted first in small French oak barrels (one year) then larger Slavonian botti (three years), before being held back at least twelve months in bottle prior to release.
Assemblage: corvina 75%, corvinone 20%, rondinella 5%.
Soil: unique morainic combination of calcareous and red clay.
Colour: profound and definite redness, even brick at the rim.
Aroma: generally tending to the bitter and ethereal, with Maraschino cherries combining with aniseed and chocolate notes, not to mention cigar box and a distinct, musky woodiness.
Palate: an ‘old-school’ wine in the best sense. Some of the austerity of a left-bank Bordeaux, with a certain aristocratic elegance which belies its substantial fruit character and power, aided by very structuring tannins and a bright, balancing acidity.
Ageability: decades. Plural. Seriously, will substantially reward patience and care in the cellar.
Pairing: requires extreme savoury-umami elements to stand up to this one. Perhaps though, ultimately, very good after-dinner cheese and mindfulness is where this wine shines at the fullest.