This Millefiori rosso (red) from Italy is made from Corvina and Merlot grapes grown in vineyards near the town of San Pietro in the Verona province. It caught my eye because of the unique appassimento technique used in its creation.
This is an IGT wine, a category of wines that falls above table wine, but below the more regulated DOC and DOCG designations. However, Super Tuscan wines (some of the best on the continent) are typically IGT wines, so don’t leap to assumptions about quality.
The appassimento technique is a rare one in which the grapes are dried out before fermentation – basically turned into raisins. In this wine, the Corvina grapes are placed in small wooden crates and placed in the “fruttaio,” a well-aerated loft, and are left there to dry at a controlled temperature and humidity.
During this “appassimento” the grapes will lose up to half their original weight in water. This drying process concentrates the flavors of the grape. Amarone, one of Italy’s most famous and delicious wines, is also made using the appassimento technique.
This is an enjoyable wine, but falls short of being a “baby Amarone.” Round and rich, there are flavors of dried fruit and chocolate and a distinct flavor of prunes. It has a lush, full finish with splashes of cherries.
A couple days later I enjoyed the last glass from the bottle and found the raisin flavor quit pronounced. This wine is tasty and a good value, costing about $13. It has whet my appetite for a good Amarone.
Rating: 2.5 of 5 Value 3.5 of 5