Le Ragose Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2008
This is a benchmark Amarone from a small, family-run estate. Just to the north of Verona, at the highest point in the Valpolicella zone, lies the famous 30 acre Le Ragose estate, founded in 1969 by Arnaldo and Marta Galli. Their children, Paolo, Marco and Marina have now joined them to oversee every aspect of the estate, and all picking and care of the vineyards is done by hand in the steep vineyards.
Le Ragose Amarone is produced from estate vineyards sitting about 1,200 feet in elevation. The vineyards are ideally situated with a southwest exposure and soils of clay and magnesium, calcium and iron based gravel. Vines average 30-60 years old. To make this Amarone, only the ripest recie ('ears') of the grape bunches are picked in late October, then dried under shelter in the open air on flat wood crates until January or February, which is called the 'appassimento method'. Once dry, the raisined grapes are fermented for up to 30 days with indigenous yeasts in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks where they will stay for a period of 12 months followed by 4-5 years in large Slavonian oak casks. The average production is a mere 600-700 cases per vintage.
Amarone is a powerful, intense wine of 14-16% alcohol with a concentrated black cherry jam fruit flavor, yet the wine is dry. Dense and super ripe, while still polished and harmonious, this finishes rich and dry with firm tannins allowing for long bottle aging. Pair with roasts, red meat, duck and pasta dishes, or after dinner with chocolate or cheeses, especially from Italy. One of our favorite soft Italian cheeses to pair with this wine is Langa La Tur.
|Region||Italy, Veneto, Amarone della Valpolicella|