Monday, October 3, 2016

Cesari 2012 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico

Amarone is considered one of Italy’s greatest wines, delivering rich, smooth flavors. Cesari Vineyard of Verona is celebrating 80 years of producing some of Italy’s best vino.  This Amarone is a nice anniversary gift.

The Mystery and Beauty of Amarone

Okay, what’s the fuss about Amarone? It’s just another Italian red wine, right? No, my friend. It is a special treat that can send wine lovers into the stratosphere.

The essence of Amarone’s excellence lies in the passito process. In this traditional method of production, the grapes are dried in a cool airy room (called fruittai) for up to four months.

At the end of the process, the grapes lose 30% to 40% of their weight, resulting in a concentration of sugar. That sugar is converted during the fermentation process into alcohol at a significant level of about 15%.

The resulting rich elegance of Amarone makes it a connoisseur’s delight.

Hail Cesari!

The grape varieties are 70-75% Corvina Veronese, 20% Rondinella and 5% Molinara. The wine is produced  in the towns of Negrar, Marano di Valpolicella, Sant’Ambrogio, Fumane, San Pietro in Cariano (the historic area of Valpolicella Classico production).

Cesari has been producing outstanding wine for 80 years. They certainly demonstrate their prowess with this Amarone della Valpolicella Classico. We tasted this bottle with friends Cabernetor and Glorious T. As the Cabernetor opined, “This is a whole different realm of wine.”

Indeed it is. The wine ages for 12 months in large Slovakian oak barrels with 20% aging in small French oak casks. It also undergoes malolactic fermentation and gets another six to eight months of bottle aging before release.

Everyone’s Talking

This Amarone (Ah-mah-ROH-neh) should be opened about two hours before serving. It can be paired with game or grilled meats, as in our case, can be a “conversation” wine.

A visual as well as a taste treat, the wine is “leggy” with long wine “tears” in the glass after a swirl. The color is also unique, a deep red with orange highlights on the rim.

Our conversation certainly did flow as we enjoyed the Amarone. The wine is lush and smooth, lingering on the palate. The artistry of winemakers is evident. The wine is rich, supple and warming. Flavors of cherries and fruit preserves mingle in happy harmony.

As you can tell, we recommend Amarone very highly. We suggest you celebrate 80 years with Cesari. This bottle retails for $60.

Full disclosure: This bottle was received as a marketing sample.

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