94pt Amarone: 2018 Salvaterra Antica Vigna Amarone Della Valpolicella
Appassimento. Such a beautiful Italian word with poetic roots - wilting, waning. What does that have to do with wine? Amarone, the King of the Veneto, is made from grapes that have wilted and waned, or to put it less poetically, dried out and dehydrated. Appassimento is the term for the process of making Amarone, fermenting dried-out grapes to produce powerful, deep, and luscious wines.
Powerful, deep, and luscious aptly describes the 94-point 2018 Salvaterra Antica Vigna Amarone Della Valpolicella to a tee. Made from the region’s three most famous grapes, Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella, the wine is a product of ancient and modern techniques. The ancient appassimento method married with modern drying techniques and a commitment to sustainability.
Amarone is one of the most unique and sought-after styles in the world. It’s also one of the most thought-provoking wines. As James Suckling once said, “Amarone is a wine to drink with a lot of contemplation.”
What’s there to contemplate? The concentration of flavors comes to mind. Amarone Della Valpolicella has both bold aromas and flavors. They become concentrated in the “wilted” grapes and that concentration delightfully bursts from the glass. Complex dark fruits—cherry and black currant—plus tobacco aromas give way to the same dark fruits and chocolate coming out on the palate. The wine is rich, elegant, deep, and balanced, with good acidity and harmony. You can enjoy it now, 2018 is ready to open, but you can also cellar it for another decade.
You can also contemplate what to pair with the powerful King of the Veneto. It’s a main course wine. Red meat—beef, venison, duck—definitely. Try using some of it in risotto to make Risotto all'Amarone, a decadent regional dish. Or, if good cheese is your idea of a good dessert (we’re partial to that dessert option here at BHW), Parmesan and strong blue cheese love Amarone.
Finally, contemplate this. It’s rare to find this quality of Amarone at such an affordable price. BHW has the lowest price anywhere on this luscious wine, just $38.99. Wines of similar quality can run $100 or more. This wine—that critic Luca Maroni gave 94 points to—is an incredible value.It’s also an incredible wine.