Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, the Forgotten Wine

Taster B made cheese lasagna tonight. We have a few Italian reds in the loft cellar. It is always a challenge to pick just one. I found a wine that neither one of us remembered buying nor how much we paid for it. Mystery wine!

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOC is a wine from the Northeast region of Italy around the city of Verona Veneto. I’m having a difficult time figuring out what is in this wine so I’m not going to bluff my way through it. The principle grape seems to be Corvina with a laundry list of other possible allowed grapes. I will give you a word of warning about Valpolicella wines, the area is riddled with plonk. This is true of so many areas of Italy, so much so that it sounds like I’m getting Alzheimer’s. Classico may be a safe way to go. In recent years, Valpolicella has been cranking out some great wines so if you are a careful shopper, you can get yourself a really cool wine. So if you have a chance to grab an Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, give it a whirl.

What you will be in for is a rich red wine, strong cherry, tobacco, chocolate and earthiness, a full bodied wine that shows some great complexity. Don’t be surprised if you find an old bottle at your wine shop. These wines tend to be aged quite a bit before released.

So what was this wine like? I’m happy to present my tasting notes.

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, D.O.C.
Villa Fulvia

Vintage: 2002
Alcohol: 15.0%
Price: We Forgot!

Color: Ruby red
Intensity: Dark
Aromas: Blackberry, cherry, plum jam raisin, olive, earth
Flavors: Strawberry, blackberry, cherry, plum, current, olive, tar, stuck flint, smoky, Slovenian oak, coffee, chocolate, tobacco
Body: Full
Acidity: Moderate
Sweetness: Off-dry
Tannins: Silky
Finish: Long

Summary: Nice package of fruit and chocolate. In the late finish tar, tobacco and mocha. This wine has a bit of glycerin and has legs like Betty Grable. Taster B commented that it is a little unbalanced: heavy on the alcohol and light on the acid. I tend to agree but don’t let this scare you off. The wine is more blackberry than cherry. Yeah, I’d buy this one again.

This can be enjoyed on its own, paired with garlic bread, herbed cheeses, Tuscan steak, grilled meats and grilled veggies.


Taster B said...

I think this wine was 7 or 8 bucks? Starts with wet stone and juicy berry on the nose that graduates into a characteristic "Sangiovese tang"... Despite the acid imbalance, it held up to food with aplomb. Definitely an interesting wine for the money!