Valpolicella Amarone is an Italian red wine which comes from the Veneto wine region in North-Eastern Italy. Amarone della Valpolicella is normally known simply as, Amarone in Italian and it is pronounced (ah-mah-roh-neh) and means Big Bitter.
Any wine which is produced Valpolicella can be called Valpolicella as long as it is produced from the following three grape varieties:
Grape Varieties Used In Amarone Wine
40-70% Corvina grape, which brings a richness and aroma to the wine.
20-40% Molinava grape, which brings smoothness and balance to the red wine.
5-25% Rondinella grape, this one provides the colour and tannin to the wine.
Amarone is different to the other Valpolicella
wine, as it uses a wine making process called Appasimento. The grapes are harvested when ripened in the first two weeks of October. The grapes are then dried on straw mats in specially adapted sheds. The drying process can take up to 3-4 months, where the grapes begin to shrink and the sugar content increases. The grapes can lose up to a third in weight. This long drying process allows the skin of the grape to bring tannins, colour and intensity to the wine.
After drying, the grapes are crushed and go through low temperature fermentation – this can take between 30-50 days. After fermentation the Amarone
wine is aged in oak barrels. The aging process changes the characteristics of the wine and makes the wine more complex; although the barrels are watertight, they are not airtight. Small amounts of oxygen penetrate the wood, so the wine mellows and matures due to the micro oxidisation. The process varies depending on the size of the barrel – large barrels, such as Slovenian Oak Casks can be from 600 litres to 30/40 hectolitres. These barrels are made from thick wood, which allow the oxygen to penetrate the wood slowly into the wine, so the oxidisation will be slower. Smaller barrels, like the Barrique, French barrels are 225 litres, allowing the wine to age quicker releasing a stronger wood taste to the wine.
Allowing the Amarone wine
to age in large barrels has the effect of giving the wine longevity. After being bottled the wine can remain in cellars for decades, which creates a very complex wine. This wine is excellent for keeping for long periods of time and therefore makes fabulous Christening gifts, new baby gifts and 18th birthday presents for example. It does not imply that wines aged in larger barrels are better than those wines aged in French Barriques. The wines are different in style, which would suit different palates.
Amarone Tasting Notes
Amarone de la Valpolicella has an alcohol level of 15% ABV. Generally the tasting notes are as follows:
Colour: Rich Garnet
Aroma: Intense Fragrance of dark fruits with a slight smokiness, hints of chocolate, vanilla and spice.
Taste: Warm, dry and velvety on the palate with a long and lasting finish.
As mentioned earlier, Amarone
is the perfect wine for keeping for a long time, which in addition to Christening and New Baby gifts makes it the perfect wine gift for weddings – to be given as a wedding present and opened perhaps on their first anniversary or 10th, 25th and 50th wedding anniversary. It is also perfect for 18th birthday presents and 21st birthday presents, which can either be opened on the landmark birthday, or left to age and be opened on a 30th birthday or 40th birthday bringing more depth and rounder finish to the wine.
Buy Amarone Della Valpolicella
as a single bottle or as a case Amarone Della Valpolicella Case
online at WineGifts4U.co.uk.
Date posted: 17/08/2011