Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico “Vigneto Monte Sant’Urbano” by Speri
From Speri’s greatest vineyard, and one of the greatest in Valpolicella, Speri’s classic Amarone is a real old-school star. Lower in alcohol than many Amarone wines are these days (but nonetheless enormous by normal wine standards), prioritising finesse over sheer fruitbomb power. A throwback gem.
Winemaking: from pergola-trained vines near Fumane at quite high altitudes. After careful selection, drying takes place over 4 months on traditional arele, to about 60% of the original moisture level. Oak ageing is extensive but subtle, with 2 years spent in French oak tonneaux and 18 months in Slavonian botti. For a further year the wine is aged in the bottle prior to release.
Assemblage: corvina and corvinone 70%, rondinella 25%, molinara 5%.
Soil: igneous, calcareous.
Colour: purple-red with garnet edges.
Aroma: absolutely classic. There’s plenty of fruit, but much more towards the plum-prune, fig, even rhubarb and rhododendron, with real tertiary notes of mocha, but also white peach, white pepper, white flowers and a touch of leather.
Palate: restrained, refined, austere, reminiscent somewhat of left-bank Bordeaux, but with genuine alcoholic power to back it up. Never imbalanced, however – everything is beautifully integrated tannins and enough acidity to keep it refreshing.
Ageability: has the acidity to go for well over a decade.
Pairing: the big meaty dishes, of course, but could also pair very well with duck dishes of a certain rareness.