The “I Classici” Line - Valpolicella
Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG Classico
A “king” that came about by chance
Though it is a very popular wine and is famous all over the world, the story of Amarone della Valpolicella is a relatively recent one. In the past, in fact, the most highly-prized wine of the zone was Recioto, a sweet red wine made from partly dried grapes, whose style depended on the producer’s ability to interrupt the fermentation at the right time to maintain a suitable sugar content in the wine. But one day, in the early 1930s, a distracted cellar master forgot to rack off a cask of Recioto, so that the fermentation carried on and all of the grape sugars in the wine were transformed into alcohol. What was left at the end was a full-bodied and highly scented red wine, but one that was totally dry. Amarone della Valpolicella was born.
Contrámalini’s Amarone della Valpolicella pays tribute to tradition, but is modern at the same time: it is made from the traditional blend of indigenous grapes, selected by hand with great care, and then left to wither naturally in the winery’s drying loft on large, well-ventilated “arele” (racks) for several months. After vinification, ageing takes place in barrels of various sizes, and the wine then matures for at least a further 6 months in bottle prior to being released onto the market. The result is a rich, velvety, well-balanced wine that is surprisingly easy to drink. One should enjoy it one sip at a time, though: great wines should never be hurried.
Production zone: Marano di Valpolicella
Grapes: 60% Corvina and Corvinone, 30% Rondinella, 5% Molinara, 5% Croatina.
Production: after the grapes have been specially selected and picked by hand in September/October, they are left to dry in wooden crates in well-ventilated rooms until January. They are then pressed, destemmed and fermented, with maceration of the must on the skins at 20°C and daily automatic punching down of the cap.
Maturation: 48 months, 50% in Slavonian oak casks and 50% in French oak barriques . The blending of the different barrels takes place one month before bottling, which is followed by a further 6 months’ bottle-ageing.
Alcohol: 16% vol.
Service: this rich, full-bodied red wine should be served in large glasses at slightly higher than cellar temperature (17°C).
Food pairings: in the Veronese gastronomic tradition, Amarone della Valpolicella is matched with roast or grilled meats, game and mature cheeses.
Bottle sizes: 0.75 l. and Magnums (1.5 l).