2004 Sant Antonio Amarone “Selzione Castagnedi” 5.0 L Napoleon / Bordeaux Jeroboam
Let’s drink Amarone.
Amarone is Italy’s heavyweight champion, inspiring awe in the imbiber via its dramatic depths achieved through the age-old process of Appassimento. A vino da meditazione, Amarone’s rich power is guaranteed to knock your socks off. It is a wine not to be trifled with, nor to be missed.
Amarone hails from Valpolicella, the inland hills up from Venice, Italy. It is primarily made from the grapes Corvina and Corvinone. But unlike many Italian wines where the region or grape plays a key role in flavor, Amarone’s distinction comes from a process. This process is the Appassimento, or drying of the grapes.
Here is what happens: the grapes are picked normally, like every other place in the world. They are then spread out on perforated straw mats. These mats are placed in an open-air warehouse where fans constantly blow the air across them. This combination dries the grapes out, in essence, creating raisins.
All of us know the flavor difference between run-of-the-mill concord grapes and Sun-Maid raisins. You can imagine a similar difference when a wine is made via appassimento. But you don’t have to imagine what Amarone is like because we’ve got one on special, right here – Sant Antonio’s!
Sant Antonio’s Amarone opens with aromas of blackberry jam spread on warm buttered toast. It feels so silky, so supple going down that it warms you like a late-night snack from Grandma sneaked to bed and munched under the covers. Amarone is never a simple wine, and you’ll revel in Sant Antonio’s rich complexity. Waves of aromas like bittersweet chocolate, violets, musk, vanilla and espresso combine into a fascinating, heady drinking experience. It truly is a vino da meditazione, a wine to meditate with, as it draws you down into its deep, dark depths. Once there, it will snuggle you like a fur coat worn on the beach of a freezing opal sea. Experience this Amarone slowly, and cherish every drop.
But now, I want to passionately turn your hedonism dial to 11 and give you one of the best wine drinking experiences of your life:
Every Italian I know will say Amarone is a wine to enjoy old. In fact, when in Italian restaurants, I’ve seen sommeliers double, even triple-decant Amarone to get it to open up. But tonight, with this bottle, you’re in perfect stead – direct from the winery, I bought Amarone that is 14 years old, in magnum. That’s right, perfectly stored, aged Amarone. This bottle is a gorgeous representation of vino da meditazione.
Now I know, some of you out there will say, “I can’t drink a magnum!” And you’d be lying. Sometime in your life, at a dinner party of four people, you’ve finished two bottles. That’s a magnum.
Further, with something this special, are you really going to sit around and drink it alone? Of course not! This awesome wine is gonna create a party. So don’t stop at magnum – go all the way. But when you go super-big with Amarone, just make sure you stay safe and go big at home.