When D and I were in Amalfi in 2008, there was a tiny little bottle shop where we found an amarone, which we had recently discovered as a wonderfully big wine to have with big flavours, like a juicy fillet steak. The amarone we found was Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva ‘Sergio Zenato’ – and we bought two of the four bottle they had, one of which we gave to friends as part of a wedding present, and the other, sat in our wine rack for another year until we opened it on the weekend with friends.
Oh. My. God.
It was incredible. I know very little about wines, but I do know what I like, and this was it. It was a very ripe, raisiny, big-bodied wine with very little acid. It has the same grape blend of Rondinella, Molinara, Sangiovese and Corvina as the standard Amarone but has longer oak maturation and older vines from carefully selected parcels.
The best grapes are hand picked and left to dry for 5 months. Skin contact fermentation lasts for 30 days. The wine is then aged in medium sized Slavonian oak barrels for two and a half years, followed by one year in bottle.
Why didn’t we buy the other two ?? We have recently found out that this particular wine is made in very small quantities as production is small and with our new wine chiller on order, the next time we see it available, we’ll be snatching up as much as we can.