One of our suppliers introduced me to the producer Guerrieri Rizzardi and after doing some preliminary research what piqued my curiosity was the level of care from the family in their winemaking processes.
We stock the Valpolicella and the Amarone and whilst the Valpolicella is more recognised, the labour behind the making of Amarone is often ignored. Wine consumers are increasingly demanding, and rightly so, more information about the origin and the history behind a wine.
The Amarone made by the Guerrieri Rizzardi is full of this history. The grapes are handpicked and carefully selected off each vine (most over twenty years old) to ensure they make the cut. The chosen grapes are then dried in specially designed rooms on straw mats for three and a half months, thus evaporating the water content in them and concentrating all the flavour.
The first fermentation takes place over a month whilst the second fermentation is malolactic, which adds to its full body and richness. The wine then spends three years in oak allowing all its components to blend harmoniously with each other and the sweet spice from the oak to integrate into the finished wine.
Most red wines we consume are produced in much shorter periods and the production processes are increasingly mechanised to save time and costs. It is therefore unusual to see the level of care that the production of a delicious Amarone requires.
Although this does mean that these wines tend to be a little dearer, I think this bottle of velvet textures and an explosion of dried fruit and berry flavours is worth every penny.
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