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Producer: Alpha ZetaGrape Varieties: 90% Corvina/Corvinone, 10% Rondinella,5% Cabernet SauvignonOptimum Drinking: Within 8 yearsWine Style: Rich, complex powerful redAlcohol by Volume: 15%Closure: Natural CorkCountry: Italian
Working with leading New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson, the aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt’s expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.
Deep and intense on the nose with perfumes of dried cherries and blueberries, with notes of spiced autumn fruit compote. On the palate, it is powerful but modern, with a lovely balance of ripe tannins and spiced, concentrated savoury cherry fruit character. A touch of woodsmoke completes the long finish.
The vineyards are situated in the hills outside Verona in the Valpantena Valley. Cool currents blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which helps to moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen slowly. This helps the grapes to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is a mixture of clay and limestone with good drainage. The vineyards are south-facing and therefore warmer than other parts of Valpolicella.
2014 was one of the trickiest vintages seen since 1984. It was a mild and wet winter, so pests and pathogens flourished. This led to lots of disease pressure in the vineyards, especially as it was a wet summer. Nevertheless, wines from around Verona look good and are more aromatic than last year and lighter in body than previous vintages. Red varieties like Corvina suffered more than whites. There was a lot of peronospora, especially in lower lying and higher cropping vineyards, resulting in lower yields than 2013
Selected grapes were picked in mid September and left to dry in specially ventilated rooms until the end of January. During this time the grapes lost about 40% of their natural weight. The grapes were destemmed and crushed at the end of January. Fermentation temperature was between 18°-22°C with daily periodic pumping over, while the length of maceration was 20 days. This Amarone was matured in oak (a mixture of large 'botti' and French oak barriques) for 18 months before bottling.
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