L. Begali Amarone Classico 2011

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From pergola-trained overhead vines, the 2010 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico exhibits inner harmony and grace. Like all Amarone, the bouquet and the mouthfeel are rich and powerful. But Begali's wines never feel too heavy, chewy or thick. There's a characteristic point of sweetness in the mouth followed by long flavors of smoke, ripe fruit, tobacco and grilled herbs.

I have nothing but good words for the wines of Lorenzo Begali and his family. Elegance is the common thread that connects them all and this is by no means easy to achieve with consistent results, especially when you factor in the appassimento, or air-drying, process. Begali will tell you that his secret is in overhead, pergola-trained grape vines. This traditional growing system has gone out of fashion only to return to fashion more recently. It is commonly thought that pergola allowed for too much vigor, but Begali argues that this system actually reduces yields when managed properly.