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Excerpt from a recent issue
In late January of 2008, I was in the charming town of Verona to participate in the Anteprima tasting of the 2004 Amarone. This is an excellent event and I was excited to be invited, especially given the vintage. I have had the pleasure of tasting many excellent red wines from this vintage from various wine regions, from Vino Nobile di Montepulciano to Barbaresco and Sagrantino di Montefalco and have been amazed at the quality of these wines. Most regions in Italy did produce excellent wines in 2004 and the Valpolicella district, just outside of Verona, where Amarone is produced was no different.
Several speakers gave evidence of this before the tasting. Daniele Accordini, one of the leading enologists in the area, mentioned how the cool temperatures in the spring and summer led to an ideal harvest date for the grapes destined for Amarone of September 25. This date incidentally, was three weeks later than in the torridly hot 2003. Another important factor was that the humidity was ideal during the fall and early winter, when the grapes were drying in the various cellars. This meant little chance of volatile acidity, a trait of Amarones from certain vintages. In Accordini’s words, 2004 was a “classic” vintage for the wines of the Valpolicella district.
Here are notes on more than 40 Amarones from the 2004 vintage. Note that while a few of these wines are already in the marketplace, most will be released in the fall of this year, with a handful coming out in early 2009.
This small estate owned by Pier Paolo Pasolini and his brother Stefano produced a remarkably elegant Amarone from 2004. This has a lovely deep, bright ruby red color with beautiful perfumed aromas of violets, black raspberry, a hint of chocolate, molasses and rum. Medium-full with very good to excellent concentration. Lovely balanced throughout with a long finish with lively acidity and subtle oak. Quite full and complex, yet so finessesful. Enjoy over the next 10-12 years.
TENUTA SANT’ANTONIO “Selezione Antonio Castagnedi”
Tenuta Sant’Antonio is owned by four Castagnedi brothers, who manage this remarkable estate in the hills of Mezzane di Sotto in the eastern reaches of the Valpolicella district. They produce two separate bottlings of Amarone in most vintages; this one, named for their father, is the lighter of the two, as it undergoes a shorter period of drying. Light, bright ruby red with aromas of tobacco, coriander and red cherry. Medium-full with very good to excellent concentration. Long finish with excellent fruit persistence, lively acidity and polished tannins. Beautiful complexity; this is a classy wine! Enjoy this over the next 10-12 years.
STEFANO ACCORDINI “Acinatico”
Brilliant ruby red color with lovely aromas of black plum, black raspberry and a hint of plum jam. Medium-full with excellent concentration. Medium-full with excellent concentration. Lengthy finish with excellent fruit persistence, elegant tannins and precise acidity. This particular bottling has been one of my favorites for several years now and the 2004 is another notable wine. Enjoy this over the next 10-12 years.