AMARONE: THE SECRET IS PATIENCE
They call it the king of the Italian wines and it’s considered one of the best wines in the world. The Amarone is a noble, complex and expensive wine.
True, the price of a good bottle of Amarone della Valpolicella may reach and easily exceed $50. At this point you may ask: “Is it worth it?”.
There are many reasons that make the Amarone so special and so rare and it all depends on the preparation, so complicated that it is governed by a specific regulation. A preparation that begins from the particularity of its terrain and continues with a process that differs for each cellar.
TERROIR IS EVERYTHING
The Amarone comes from Valpolicella, a valley east of Verona, whose production can be classified essentially in 3 varieties:
There are only 5000 hectares that can boast the label Amarone DOCG. It’s about stony terrains rich of salt minerals like the Cru “Le Bessole” of the Accordini Igino cellar, located in a hilly area between San Pietro in Cariano and Negrar.
The specification (the law that regulates the Amarone production) is very strict: it states that the production of grapes must not exceed 12 tons per hectare. Some winegrowers practice the green grape harvest , a sort of pruning of the grapes while they’re still unripe. In this way the production decreases (about 2kg of grapes per plant) but the quality raises. And this is only the beginning.
THE HARVEST IS ONLY THE BEGINNING
The Amarone wine is produced with grapes of only three varieties: the Corvina Veronese, the Corvinone and the Rondinella. The point is that the Amarone is not an ordinary wine: we can say that it’s the result of a complex process, unique and definitely one of the kind. Each winery jealously guards the secrets of its recipe: the result is a product with a distinct personality.
The grapes get picked and selected: only the best, the healthiest and the perfectly ripe ones are dried on racks – for the Accordini Igino cellar this means for about 150-180 days - in specific areas designed to ensure constant values of humidity, temperature and aeration for the whole period.
At the end of this first phase , the grapes have lost much of their water content, leaving intact the sugars. Then follows the crushing and the two-phase fermentation, where the temperature is controlled according tradition.
After 45 days or more of fermentation, the must goes on the cap of marq through the “rimontaggio” method: a process that lasts for over a month, during which the wine fragrance fully develops and the color captures the beautiful deep shades of the Amarone wine.
REST, REST, REST
Now begins the long lethargy of the must, after which we have our garnet colored gold. As we said above, each cellar follows different paths to enhance the unique qualities of their Amarone. For example, the Accordini Igino winery leave the most in steel tanks for the following six months, doing three pouring offs to eliminate sediments making the wine more limpid naturally: only after this period, the product is laid to rest in French oak tonneau of 550 liters for 12 months, which give to the wine a particular velvety softness, with round non-aggressive tannins as desired by Guido, owner and winemaker of the Accordini Igino winery.
Other six months in French oak barrique Seguin Moreau of 225 liters to add personality to the Amarone wine that is now slowly reaching maturity.
After this period – over two years have passed from the grape harvest- the wine is left to rest until bottling or better until Guido says that the wine is ready.
BOTTLED AT LAST
The wine reaches the end of its journey: after 6/8 months of rest in bottle at controlled temperature (16°-20°), it’s finally ready for the sale.
This is the journey that the wine you’re enjoying has done to arrive to your glass: a long, complex trip, where experience and refinement of winemaking techniques are crucial. A noble wine with a unique and different personality from year to year.
Year 2011 has gifted the Accordini Igino winery with 40000 bottles of excellent product , thanks to particular climatic conditions that led to a plentiful harvest of great quality which gave origins to the Amarone Accordini Igino 2011 “Le Bessole”, officially presented at Vinitaly 2016.