2016 Mazzi Valpolicella Classico Superiore “Sanperetto”
Amarone is Italy’s heavyweight champ, 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 light the home fires and keep them burning.
Amarone hails from Valpolicella, the hills up and inland 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 – our example today, the brother team of Mazzi.
The Mazzi brothers do something very special with their wines. They offer us two different styles of “Amarone.” The first is a single vineyard named Sanperetto , which technically is a Valpolicella Classico Superiore. Why the long name instead of Amarone? Because the grapes are dried for only 30 days. Call it baby-Amarone if you will, but to my palate, it packs all the punch of the real thing:
Mazzi’s Sanperetto opens with aromas of blackberry jam spread on warm buttered toast. Waves of aromas like bittersweet chocolate, violets, musk, vanilla and espresso a combine for 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 near a freezing, pristine opal sea. Experience this wine slowly, and cherish every drop.
From that description, you can imagine what Mazzi’s Amarone “Punta di Villa” is like. Here, the grapes are dried for 60 days and the results are even more hedonistic. This wine 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. Its infinite depths of richness practically defy definition– they must be experienced to be believed (so come in and taste it on Friday). A big wine, combined with roasted meats, will get you through these long cold winter days. Stay warm, but don’t go wanting.
As you can imagine, Amarone is never cheap. It is extremely difficult to make and the very act of creating it, the appassimento, lowers the yield, typically by half. What would have been a $30 wine automatically costs $60. The brothers Mazzi, however, want to spread their love of Amarone far and wide. Take advantage of this fine offer on their Amarone because, as any Italian will tell you, Amarone is not a wine for everyday occasions, but it is a wine to savor as frequently as you can.
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