Amarone is the product of the ancient wine-making method called "appassimento" (drying of the grapes). At the end of September or the beginnning of October, the best clusters of grapes from the hillside vineyards are picked and placed in wooden boxes or on bamboo racks. The grapes are left to dry for 36 to 48 hours in rooms with controlled atmospheres (controlled humidity and forced ventilation) and then left to dry in large rooms in the old farmhouses in the hills until about the middle of January. There are large openings or windows to allow the free flow of air which is vital to the drying of the grapes. By January the grapes weigh 35-40% less and have a naturally enhanced flavour and a higher concentration of sugar. Just the Corvina is attacked by botrytis ("noble rot"). After a delicate pressing and partial destalking of the grapes, they ferment for about 50 days in large Slavonian oak barrels at low, natural temperatures (natural cold fermentation). The second fermentation with total transformation of the sugars and the malolactic fermentation take place in old oak barrels of 20 - 50 hl. Then the wine is aged partly in old oak barrels and partly in small barrels of Allier oak of 600 l for about 3-4 years. The aged wine is then bottled and rests for an additional six months or more before release.
Robert ParkerRating: 93/100 - As reviewed by Robert Parker on 10/12/2013