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Amarone

Amarone is a great red wine from the Veneto region, famous throughout the world and an ambassador for Italian wine-making excellence. It is produced from indigenous Valpolicella grapes such as Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone and Molinara, which are left to dry for a few months until they reach a remarkable aromatic richness. Although the first evidence of a dry, robust wine made from dried grapes dates back to ancient times, the genesis of modern Amarone shows how great things can come from a mistake: it was first produced by accident in 1936 from the complete vinification of a Recioto barrel that had mistakenly escaped the stopping of the fermentation process, with the consequent transformation of all the sugars into alcohol. Today, its prestige and qualities are recognised all over the world: elegance, structure and complexity that have allowed it to reach the top of the world wine scene.

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Amarone is a great red wine from the Veneto region, famous throughout the world and an ambassador for Italian wine-making excellence. It is produced from indigenous Valpolicella grapes such as Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone and Molinara, which are left to dry for a few months until they reach a remarkable aromatic richness. Although the first evidence of a dry, robust wine made from dried grapes dates back to ancient times, the genesis of modern Amarone shows how great things can come from a mistake: it was first produced by accident in 1936 from the complete vinification of a Recioto barrel that had mistakenly escaped the stopping of the fermentation process, with the consequent transformation of all the sugars into alcohol. Today, its prestige and qualities are recognised all over the world: elegance, structure and complexity that have allowed it to reach the top of the world wine scene.

The Legend of Amarone

According to a legend, Amarone was born by chance from an error made during the vinification process of Recioto, a sweet raisin wine of more ancient origins. From a Recioto 'scapà', that is to say that it escaped the end of the vinification process, with the consequent transformation of all the residual sugar into alcohol, a "bitter" Recioto was born, as it was not as sweet as expected. Although the first evidence of a "bitter wine" being produced in the Verona area is very old, its birth dates back to 1936, when Adelino Lucchese, enologist at the Cantina Sociale della Valpolicella, found a fermentation keg full of Recioto, forgotten in the cellar for a long time and, after tasting it, exclaimed: "this is not an Amaro, it is an Amarone".

The first flasks were put on the market in 1938 but remained in a small group of friends and acquaintances. The first bottles of red wine, produced by choice and not by luck, were only marketed in 1953, immediately achieving great success both in Italy and abroad. Since then Amarone Classico has established itself as one of the most important and prestigious red wines in Italy and its fame continues to grow vintage after vintage.

 

The Production Regulations

The first official approval of the production regulations for Amarone red wine dates back to 1968, at the same time as the recognition of DOC Valpolicella, of which our wine was a type. It was only in 2010 that a new regulation sanctioned the birth of an autonomous denomination, prescribing strict rules for producers to respect and very high quality standards.

Amarone can only be made from the typical red grapes of Valpolicella: Corvina Veronese, in percentages between 45 and 95%; Rondinella, from 5 to 30%; Corvinone, in an amount not exceeding 50% and other red grapes such as Molinara, with a maximum limit of 10%.

The production area of the grapes is limited to the Valpolicella area, in the province of Verona, which includes a total of 19 municipalities, including: Negrar, Illasi and Mezzane, to mention only the most famous ones. The additional mention of Classico is reserved for the territory of Negrar, Marano, Fumane, Sant'Ambrogio and San Pietro in Cariano. There is also the geographical specification Valpantena for the production in the sub-zone of the same name.

In order to guarantee the high quality of the grapes, intended as an authentic expression of the territory, the regulations prohibit the vineyards from being planted on fresh soil or situated on the plains or in the valley bottom, and only the espalier and Veronese pergola training systems are used. The minimum number of vines per hectare cannot fall below 3300, with a maximum yield of 12 tons of grapes per hectare and a sorting of the bunches of grapes not exceeding 65%. The maximum yield of grapes in finished wine must not exceed 40%.

The harvested grapes must be left to dry in suitable premises called 'fruttai', or drying lofts, until a minimum natural alcoholic strength by volume of 14% is reached. The vinification process follows, for which only "local, loyal and constant enological practices'' are allowed. Before Amarone della Valpolicella is released for consumption, at least two years must have passed since the 1st of January following the date of harvest. The additional specification Riserva refers to an ageing period of at least 4 years from the 1st November of the vintage year.

 

Serving Suggestions and Pairings

We are talking about a very intense and structured red wine, rich in scents and aromas. The important alcoholic value, together with a slight residual sugar, makes it particularly warm, velvety and enveloping. These characteristics make it a great meditation wine, which can be tasted and appreciated without food.

At the table it requires the pairing of elaborate and very tasty dishes, due to its imposing structure and very long persistence. It is the perfect accompaniment for dishes based on game and venison, but also braised dishes, stews, roasts and, above all, very mature cheeses, such as pecorino, Piedmontese toma, fossa cheese and parmesan, and blue cheeses such as gorgonzola, roquefort, stilton and bleu d'Auvergne.

It has an important ageing potential: refinement in the bottle and resting in the cellar allows it to evolve for many years, developing tertiary aromas and increasing the complexity of its aromatic range. The best wines can rest in the cellar for decades before reaching their full expression. In any case, almost all Amarone wines can be appreciated as soon as they are released.

To enjoy it at its best, it is advisable to uncork the bottle at least 2 hours before serving, allowing the wine time to oxygenate and express itself to the fullest. The use of a wide glass favours oxygenation and allows the lucky taster to capture all the aromas and appreciate all its characteristics.

If you are a lover of important and structured red wines, discover the wide selection of the best Amarone wines for sale online on Callmewine at very competitive prices.