Sunday, January 26, 2014

Report from ... Anteprima Amarone 2010, Day 4 - January 26, 2014

It's touring day, both of some wineries and of the city of Verona - most of what I showed you yesterday we walked (again) to today, just this time I know what all the things I saw yesetrday are.  Other than that it was (mostly) new wineries and all new wines ... and some of the best pasta I have ever had. Let's take a look:

Corte Figaretto ... 
small family run winery

Starting the day at Corte Figaretto
The winery from the road:
as we will find out they make only 5 wines from 9 acres of grapes
Their vineyards

Their tasting room
Their drying room
Figaretto is a gravity flow winery,
here is where the wine goes down into the basement.
And here is where it ends up - (see hole in ceiling).
Before ending up here.
And then finally here.
Besides the big Valpolicella three: Valpolicella, Ripasso and Amarone,
they also make Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from dried grapes.
TOP 3 wines at Corte Figaretto ...

2012 Valpolicella "Altarol"
sour cherry, red berries and cranberry on the nose; leads to a palate of fresh
fruit with a slight spice and good acidity - a really nice food wine. (*** 1/2+)
2011 Valpolicella Superiore Ripasso "Acini Ameni"
black and red berries greet the nose, there is also a nice spiciness the chimes in;
palate shows a nice freshness backed by pepper and spice - finish comes off more
aggressively spiced with good acidity and a good length. (*** 1/2+)
2009 Amarone della Valpolicella "Brolo del Figaretto"
nose is black plum and raspberry, but the palate comes off as a lot more complex:
full fruited, smoky, plumy with elements of chocolate and good spice; the finish
takes that spice and adds vanilla, cocoa and anise. (****)
We had a few minutes between stops so we ventured out to the top of the hillside to take a look at the Valpantena Valley below ... quite breathtaking:

Bolla ...
From one extreme to another ... from a place that has 9 acres to a place that contracts 100 growers, produces 13 million bottles and 3 region specific Amarones:

I have been here before but there are still some interesting things to see.
Bolla through the years

The earliest vintages on display
Evolution of a label

A bottle of the 1950 Recioto Amarone
Lunch ...
We were taken to Enoteca della Valpolicella for a lunch and tasting of Bolla wines ... so far this is some of the best food we have had on the trip - especially the pasta, you'll hear me say it again once the photo is posted.

Arrival at Enoteca della Valpolicella where we will taste another five wines
The Enoteca is a place where wines and food from the region are paired and sold (how civilized)
I'll show you the basement wine shop shortly ... and it is quite the shop.

TOP 3 wines of the Bolla tasting ...

first white in Valpolicella since arriving is this one:
2012 Tufaie - Soave Superiore (Garganega 90% - Trebbiano 10%)
on lees 3 months from 30 year old vines taken from the sub-region of Monte Forte
nose is fresh with mineral and citrus, also has a hint of floral; palate is different
from any other Soave I've tasted: fresh, full, ripe with mineral, lime pith and good
acidity - this is a wine you keep coming back to for another sip. (*** 1/2+)
2008 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
great cherry and raspberry aromas - palate has good fruit, strawberry, raspberry,
and mocha - very pleasant and easy to drink, now or over the next 10 years. (*** 1/2+)
Production: 200,000 bottles
2008 Le Origini - Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva (first vintage)
it's got the nose you look for in Amarone: plum, black cherry, chocolate, and strawberry jam;
richness of fruit reveals itself on the palate with a balance of acidity and tannins -
this wine shows great balance, even at 16.5% alcohol - this one is to age 10+ years. (****+)
Production: 20,000 bottles
The Food ...

Ricotta and Apple Mustarda
(macerated apples with mustard essence)
Ravioli with Ricotta and Poppy Sprouts
filling was creamy smooth and supple - pasta was melt in your mouth
light and so delicious - this is the best pasta I have had so far.
Taratella with Ragu di Cortile (duck / turkey / guinea fowl) ...
Beef ... a little too rare for my liking
aged Monte Veronese cheese - "old" for this cheese is 9-12 months
Our host for the lunch from Bolla was this man:
Giannantonio Marconi (a wealth of knowledge)

And at the Enoteca this is the cook, who makes all her pasta by hand:
and it truly is some of the best pasta I have ever had.
Here is the wine shop downstairs at the Enoteca ... a wine shop -
like the wine you had with dinner, buy a bottle (how civilized)
Random Shots ...

Taken in the parking lot of the Enoteca ...
Welcome to the Enoteca, you can checkout any time you like,
but you can never leave.
Gratuitous Dog Shot #5: Two Dogs in Love
Dinner ...
Alas dinner was an affair to forget with only a handful of memorable wines and even less dishes ... I will save the restaurant the embarrassment of naming them, and post only the good wines and the one course that stood out ... dessert:
Ca' La Bionda 2011 Campo Casel Vegri Valpolicella Superiore
spicy black cherry and plum with complementing anise and leather notes (****)
Aldrighetti 2010 Valpolicella Classico Superiore - "Le Bignele"
toasty vanilla, hints of caramel and blckberry, with some smoky goodness,
yet there is a creaminess and tannins backbone, sounds odd but it works. (****+)

Ca'Rugate 2011 Ripasso
sweet fruit up front with mocha tones, red cherry, blackberry and nicely spiced
good acid balance and some smooth silky tannins to finish it off. (**** 1/2)
Rechhia 2010 "Le Muraie" - Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore
smoky, blackberry and Christmas cake aromas which follow onto the palate pretty
closely ... there's also some vanilla and cinnamon in there - nice structure. (****+)
Dinner Highlight:
Cinquecentofoglie (a kind of millefeuille)
rather tasty ... the only thing I finished tonight.

Finally ... fun was had around the table with this producers name - if you can figure it out -
one thing I can say this was a pretty hard wine, nothing flacid about it.

A pretty good day ended on a low note - but we all had fun around the table and maybe that's the main thing - but what I would not give for a simple pizza and a beer for dinner instead of these heavy meals that weigh you down before bed ... maybe next year.

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