Dear wine lovers, after many years of toing and froing, I finally found it. The superior taste of an exquisite grape at a reasonable price! Yes, I am talking about Villa Canestrari’s Amarone della Valpolicella 2010. This is probably the last thing you would expect to hear someone say about Amarone wine. Ready for another bombshell? This Amarone costs less than 30€.Now, let me tell you something about Amarone grapes and why this particular Amarone wine has become my alltime favorite.
What makes Amarone wine so expensive?
It is commonly known in the wine world, that Amarone wine belongs to a higher price category (from 50€ upwards).
Amarone wine is usually made with three grape varieties, namely Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara. They are grown in the Valpolicella Region, which lies northwest of the beautiful city of Verona and represents the second largest producer of DOC wines. In fact, this particular region produces 5 different types of wine: Valpolicella Classico, Valpolicella Superiore, Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso, Amarone della Valpolicella and Recioto della Valpolicella, which is a dessert wine. According to the treatment of the grapes, their maturity and taste, you could imagine a pyramid that ranges from Valpolicella Classico to Amarone. In this case, Amarone della Valpolicella sits at the very top of the pyramid, which means that the grapes, after being picked, go on a much longer journey.
Most wineries will select their oldest vines to produce this Amarone. The grapes are usually picked around the month of October and left to dry out over winter, about 4 to 5 months. During this time, the grapes turn into raisins and are highly concentrated in sugar. After that, they are slowly pressed and fermented over a long period, which can vary from 35 to 50 days. Before being released, the wine is aged at least 2 years. In order to be labelled “Riserva”, Amarone wine has to undergo an aging period of 4 to 5 years.
As you can see, the quantity of fruit needed, the time, space and patience invested, explains why Amarone della Valpolicella wines are so expensive. Nevertheless, the taste literally brings you to your knees!
Let’s taste Amarone della Valpolicella 2010 from Villa Canestrari
The story begins in 1888, when Carlo Bonuzzi, owner of many vineyards in Val d’Illasi, started bottling and selling his wine. When the Bonuzzi and Franchi families united their knowledge in 1990, “Villa Canestrari” was officially born. Villa Canestrari’s vineyards lie in the Illasi Valley, in the Province of Verona. Thanks to the limestone soil in the Valpolicella and the volcanic one in the Soave region, they are able to produce both wine. The family is constantly experimenting with various local grapes in order to produce even better wines. Their 2009 Amarone della Valpolicella DOC Riserva “1888” even won the Gold Medal at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2016. They also produce my favorite, Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG 2010, which is made with Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Oseleta and Croatina grapes. They are dried for 90 to 120 days, then fermented for 18 months in oak barrel and aged 8 months in bottle.
A friend of mine send me this bottle and I had the honor of trying it on a quiet Saturday, as I was enjoying the Spring sun on my balcony. A delicious risotto with fresh truffle was waiting for me and I could not have wished for a better combination.
A ray of light shun trough my glass and revealed a deep ruby red dress. I could smell this typical full-bodied and intense leathery aroma. The first sip of wine has spicy notes and an intense sweet black cherry flavor. The wine elegantly wraps itself around the tongue and leaves a warm and intense palate impression. The wine and the truffle were a match made in heaven, both enriched by their respective flavors. A tear rolled down my cheek-I promise.
I thank my friend who made me discover this incredible wine and if you share my passion for high quality wines, you will undoubtedly come to love this one.