I really, really like the Amarone style–soft tannins and dried fruit, but sometimes it is too big and too soft that it almost begins to resemble Port. I like this about Amarone, but sometimes though I prefer Port at the end of the meal, I can’t drink it the entire time. This wine definitely is food-friendly with more of a tannic edge and acidic balance that plays off multiple food courses just right.
We are still in the Veneto region in the DOC Valpolicella Classico, so the grapes are still a blend of Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. But these grapes are left to hang on the vine for extra time, then dried for months on bamboo mats. By the time they are pressed in January or February, they look like raisins–most of the water has evaporated leaving extra concentrated sugar and flavor. There is nothing “bright” or “red” about Luigi Righetti’s Capitel De’ Roari Amarone. It oozes dark, ample fruit with baking spices and warm espresso notes that add just a tinge of bitterness. Showing its age with brown-tinged edges from the brick-red center, this Amarone is voluptuous and generous with dried fruit and mocha, but has enough acidity to lighten it up and pair nicely with food. It wasn’t too soft, but nicely balanced tannins added just enough structure and body to hold up to the dried red fruit and dark chocolate mingling in the glass. Big alcohol (15%) certainly makes this a good option to share with friends at the next dinner party. I decanted this for a few hours before tasting, but it could definitely open up even more. With this kind of wine, maybe it would have been even better the next day. Salute!