jamie goode's wine blog

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Amarone: watching grapes dry

Last week I had to do a presentation in the Valpolicella region of north east Italy. While I was there, I had a chance to visit the research centre for the region, to learn about a new project to identify new varieties for use in Valpolicella. There was also a opportunity to see the grapes being dried for Amarone production. I'm posting some pictures - in this case, the grapes are in plastic crates, but it's also common to find them laid out on wooden trays, or even hung up tied on to bits of string. The important thing is that they are in good condition, without any rot. I'm also posting a couple of pictures of the vineyards, which have very high trellising.

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Saturday, July 04, 2009

What have you done to my dog? And a good Valpol

Rosie went to the dog groomers yesterday. 2 hours and 36 later she came out. But with some bizarre 80s haircut. She now looks really stupid. Maybe we will get used to it. Above is a before and after shot.

Very nice Valpolicella this lunch time - chilled lightly, it's a delicate, beguiling red. Shame it's not a few quid cheaper, which would bring it into everyday drinking territory, but it's a perfect wine for summer.

Guerrieri Rizzardi Valpolicella Classico 2008 Italy
A blend of Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and Merlot. Lovely elegant, fresh, sappy sweet cherry fruit is the theme here: it's light but has nice presence to it, with some sweetness to the fruit and also an attractive spicy, minerally bite. This is really alive, with some elegance and complexity - it's just so natural-tasting and joyful. 12% alcohol. 90/100 (12.99 Longford Wines)

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Seductive Italian red

After a trip to Chianti country, I'm in a mood for Italian reds, and here's a good one. It's not from Tuscany, but the Veneto. It's delicious and quite elegant.

Guerrieri Rizzardi 'Pojega' Ripasso 2006 Valpolicella DOC Classico Superiore, Italy
A single-vineyard wine made primarily from Corvina and Corvinone grape varieties, then aged in oak. It shows sweet cherry and berry fruit character with a liqueur-like purity, as well as some subtle earthy, spicy elements in the background. It's really quite elegant with good concentration, yet at the same time a lightness and purity to the fruit. There's a bit of textural richness but it never loses it fresh, cherryish fruity character. 90/100 (9.99 HBJ Wines, Longford Wines)
I should add something about 'Ripasso', which is followed on the label by 'TM'. This is a technique devised by a producer called Masi in the 1960s, who trademarked the term, but have recently released it to be used by other producers in the region. The idea is that after Amarone, made by drying grapes before fermentation, has finished its fermentation, Valpolicella wine is introduced to the tank and re-ferments on the lees and skins of the Amarone. I'm not sure of the wine science underlying this, but the results are often interesting, as they are here.

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