Aging Amarone

Looking for some Amarones to sock away in the cellar.

My only Amarone experience is Tedeschi (which I love). I am sipping on a 2009 as I write.

I have heard that Bertani can age well (from another WB thread).

Thanks :slight_smile:

Tedeschi Monte Olmi is good. Bertani and Masi are readily available, really depends on price as they tend to be fairly reasonable while you can really stretch a budget with Dal Forno and Quintarelli.

Nice thing with Amarone is you can buy older vintages fairly easily, Bertani has a library available back to the 60s in the US with Palm Bay.

Never been a fan of Bertani. Do like Zenato a lot. Dal Forno and Quintarelli great but cost prohibitive. I don’t know what kind of time frame that you are interested in for aging but I’ve had mixed results with the Classico. Any more than ten years you might be better off with the he Cru bottlings.

I like the Masi stuff all the way up and down. The Costasera Amarone is well made and readily available. If you can find/spring for the Campolongo di Torbe or Mazzano they are fantastic and would likely go a long time.

Those older back vintage Bertanis mentioned above were pretty amazing. I think buying and holding current vintage Bertani for the long haul is a pretty safe bet.

I’ve always found Costasera very underwhelming, simple and lacking the oomph I look for in Amarones. However, Costasera Rieserva is light years better than the normale and Campolongo di Torbe is easily one of the best Amarones I’ve tasted.

I’ve tasted some Dal Fornos and I really don’t see what’s the hype: they are ridiculously concentrated for sure, but they don’t taste anything even remotely Italian because they are all about obfuscating new oak. They really taste like wood concentrate and chocolate milkshake while they are young and - at least to my palate - pretty repulsive. I guess having the wine age for +20 years might help shaving some of the wood away, but I’ve yet to taste a Dal Forno that old to confirm this theory.

What do you eat with them? I have a few bottles that just sit in my cellar because I haven’t a clue how to fit them into a meal, and I’m not crazy about them on their own.

Try it as a dessert wine either by itself or with whatever you would pair Port with.

Usually they work best as cheese platter wines, especially with harder aged cheeses. As regular food wines I find them rather overpowering and clunky. But then again, I find most of the bolder new world reds equally unsuitable as well.

Otto - That was kind of my instinct.

But they have much lower sugar levels than port. Some are relatively dry and even recioto is about 4g/l of sugar, versus 5-12g/l for port.

Agreed. I haven’t had one in years but when I did a cheese plate (esp. hard cheeses) seemed to work best.

Amarone does indeed have relatively low sugar levels especially compared to port, but my experience is that the concentration and higher alcohol levels give a strong impression of rich sweetness on the palate that makes them completely interchangeable with sweet wines and can in fact be used as such. Since someone else on the thread mentioned Zenato, I had the privilege a couple of years ago of attending a Zenato wine dinner where different Amarones were served with every single course from appetizer to dessert and it all worked perfectly.

Thanks, Tron. That’s interesting.

I think I’ll play it safe and drink mine with cheese, though.

I think your units are off.

I was relying on Wikipedia:

If fermentation is stopped early, the resulting wine will contain residual sugar (more than 4 grams of sugar per litre) and produce a sweeter wine known as Recioto della Valpolicella. Recioto was the traditional wine produced according to this method, and originally, Amarone was Recioto wines that had fermented for too long.

This article says 3 to 7 g/l.

I was reacting to your comments on the RS in recioto and port, which are almost always many times the 4 or 5-12 g/l amounts you mentioned. Port is normally at least 90 g/l of RS or more, and recioto often has as much or more RS. It isn’t uncommon to find recioto at 120+ g/l TS. A wine with RS of 5-12 g/l would be classified as dry to the low end of off-dry.

I don’t know how to reconcile that with those articles.

In any event, aren’t most non-recioto amarones much lower in sugar than ports?

And are Mary and the others who responded talking about recioto or regular amarone? I assumed the latter.

Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG will be fermented dry (or very close to it) - Residual sugar: Maximum 12 g/l (1.2%) for a 14.0% alcohol wine, with a sliding scale up to about 16 g/l (1.6%) for higher alcohol levels per Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG » Italian Wine Central. According to the same site, Recioto della Valpolicella DOCG has a minimum RS of approximately 50 g/l. Basically Amarone is dry by definition and Recioto is sweet by definition.

I don’t find even the ripest Amarones to be viable substitutes for ports, any more than I do the ripest zinfandels, but others’ mileage may vary.

I generally don’t drink much Amarone, but on rare occasions I have Osso Bucco it’s one of few wines that stands up to it, and it’s a great pairing. Cheeses are great too.

Lucky to sell Masi, Bertani, Dal Forno and others, but none are big movers…Dal Forno Valpolicella is a great wine when compared to Classico, since they are priced similarly.

You sell Dal Forno now? Who’s the importer?

Have for a while, thru 2 or 3 importers…now Wilson Daniels.