This wine was received as a tasting sample.
2012 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG — dark ruby-garnet color in the glass with generous aromas of plums, black tea, damp earth and hints of smoke. Complex plumy fruit flavors combine with flavors of dried blueberries, tobacco and crushed flower stems. The wine has bright acidity. Ample tannins provide structure and deliver, along with the flavors, a long finish. 14.5% abv. About $40.
“This wine dances across my tongue,” exclaimed our friend and dinner guest as he savored the first few sips of the Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG. He couldn’t define for me what that meant exactly, but he liked the wine very much. He was not alone in his evaluation of this delightful Amarone produced in Valpolicella’s Classico zone north of Verona. It is a wine that shows great depth and complexity, structured tannins and a long finish.
Amarone della Valpolicella, Amarone to most of us, is produced using a method called appassimento which is unique to the region. The grapes are hand harvested and dried indoors on racks or mats until they achieve a minimum potential alcohol level of 14%. During the drying process, which can take until January or February following an October harvest, the grapes will lose 30 – 40% of their weight. The dried grapes are pressed and then complete a slow, cool fermentation after which the wine is aged in oak for a minimum of two years. Alcohol must reach at least 14%. Corvina is the main red grape variety used to make Amarone, along with Corvinone, Rondinella and Molinara. Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG is a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. The wine is aged in a combination of small French oak barrels and large Slavonian oak barrels for a total of 3 years and up to 6 months in bottle before release.
Cesari winery was founded in 1936 by Gerardo Cesari. His son, Franco, joined the winery in the early 1960s and now Franco’s adult children, Gerardo and Deborah, have joined the operation as well. The family now manages two wine cellars and 100 hectares of estate vineyards located mainly in the Classico zone of Valpolicella.
This fall Cesari officially celebrated 80 years of winemaking in Valpolicella. Our celebration with Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG included dinner with a friend and our food pairing was lamb stew. Absolute perfection!
Congratulations to Cesari on 80 years of winemaking and thank you for a taste of your delicious Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG.