The Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG classification accounts for about 25% of Valpolicella production. Amarone is produced from a similar blend of grapes though Molinara is not permitted. In this '3 Cru Amarone' with 80% Corvinone and Corvina, 10% Rondinella and 10% Barbera, grapes are selected from Guerrieri Rizzardi's three recognised single vineyards - Calcarole, Rovereti and Pojega which is the vineyard whose grapes are also in our Valpolicella. Calcarole is Guerrieri Rizzardi's top Amarone and was not made in 2012 which is lucky for us as the grapes were instead diverted to this 3 Cru Amarone and bring weight and elegance to the wine.
Amarone is made from 'recioto' grapes, i.e. grapes that are dried pre-fermentation to increase their concentration and complexity. This wine is intense in more ways than one - in aromas, flavours, colour and tannins though the drying process also alters the tannins and acids so that the wine becomes very rich and balanced. The alcohol at 16% due to the higher sugar content of the dried grapes is usual for Amarone but well- integrated.
Of the grapes in this Amarone, Corvina brings elegance, aromas and acidity whilst Corvinone contributes colour, tannins and higher sugar levels. Rondinella adds floral notes to the aromas with Barbera bringing acidity, colour, body and fruit. Spicy red and black fruits including sweet cherries and plums are evident on the nose and on the palate together with the rich, sweet raisins that you would expect from Amarone. The finish is long with both fruit and spice. The tannins are soft and the wine lovely and smooth. The acidity helps counter the richness of the wine making sure it is not too heavy. I have classified it as Rich & Spicy but it could equally be a Smooth Elegant Red. Lovely!
The producer suggests consuming this wine with rib of beef, venison, pheasant and with the cheeses, Pecorino Vecchio and mature Cimbro. It would work well with slightly sweet dishes, most other cheeses including Parmesan and Gorgonzola, cured meats, robust pasta dishes, Risotto all’amarone, dishes flavoured with balsamic vinegar, braised beef, lamb, strong-flavoured meats like wild boar, ox or veal cheek and oxtail, Wagyu beef etc
"Aromatic with ripe dark berried fruit alongside sweet spice leading to a palate that is full-bodied but not heavy. The fruit carries through with ripe dark berries, sweet raisin and subtle oak,. Well structured and maintaining good freshness; decant an hour before serving."
Platinum Medal & 95 points Decanter World Wine Awards 2017
"Best Amarone - Opens up beautifully with ripe and pronounced notes of raspberries and cherry fruit. Elegant and sensual palate with juicy tannins, complex spices and a long, fresh aftertaste. Stunning!"