Amarone della Valpolicella classico DOCG
It is extremely popular and at the top of many people's list of enthusiasts, the opulent northern Italian from Veneto. No wonder, a good Amarone della Valpolicella classico DOCG also offers a lot of red wine: Intense fruit, spices, chocolate and tart tannins, exuberant, concentrated fruit. In addition, ripe acidity, a creamy structure, a high volume of alcohol. All this combines in a fascinating arc of tension. Complex, powerful and elegant.
Others do not like it at all, calling it a trendy and fashionable red wine from Italy, too heavy and sticky, almost sugary sweet and not worth the high price. Its production is certainly special: the grapes of the classic red wine grape varieties Rondinella, Corvina Veronese, Corvinone and Molinara are dried on grids or mats for several months after harvesting, turned and twisted, and in some cases lose more than half of their liquid. The water evaporates, leaving behind raisin-like grapes with a high content of sugar, acidity and tannins. These semi-raisins are gently pressed and fermented. Above all, a good Amarone della Valpolicella classico DOCG is basically very storable and develops its complex aroma only over a long period of time. The Amarone is a relatively young product, it came into being - so the locals swear - by chance. In Valpolicella in the province of Verona, it was the custom since the 16th century to dry part of the grape harvest of the grape varieties Corvina Veronese, Rondinella and Corvinone on wooden grates and to press wine from it only in winter. This could not ferment due to the high sugar content and thus remained wonderfully sweet, it was the famous, noble Recioto. However, something extraordinary happened in the 1930s. By mistake, a young cellar master forgot a barrel of Recioto in the cellar and the wine gor through, the residual sugar turned into alcohol and the result was exciting, dry. Other winemakers also jumped on the bandwagon and produced this type of wine from the classic Veneto grape varieties. However, for a long time, no one could explain how it was possible for a Recioto to ferment completely. In traditional wines, the yeasts died at a volume of 15%. The wine, if there was still residual sugar, remained sweet. The Amarone, however, reached values of 16-17% alcohol by volume. This was described by winemakers as a "miracolo dell'Amarone", a miracle. Today it is known that special yeast strains are responsible for this. These are found only in the region around Valpolicella and are more resistant to alcohol. Because of its bitter finish, the wine was called Amarone, the bitter one. Malicious tongues claim that they simply borrowed from the new model of drier wines from Bordeaux or Burgundy, caught the trend. However, the Amarone DOCG has achieved much more than just the breakthrough, it is called on the same eye level with the "royal wines" Brunello and Barolo, it belongs to the very great wines of Italy. And that's how it wants to be celebrated: A wine for great occasions, in the best company and with a good, sumptuous meal. Not only in Italy.