HER BOOKS ON AMAZON
  • Wine and Climate Change: Winemaking in a New World
    Wine and Climate Change: Winemaking in a New World
    by L. J. Johnson-Bell
  • Pairing Wine and Food: A Handbook for All Cuisines
    Pairing Wine and Food: A Handbook for All Cuisines
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
  • Home Cellar Guide Hb
    Home Cellar Guide Hb
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
  • Quel vin pour quel plat ?
    Quel vin pour quel plat ?
    by Linda Johnson-Bell
  • Great Wine Tours of the World
    Great Wine Tours of the World
    Barnes and Noble Books
  • The Wine Collector's Handbook
    The Wine Collector's Handbook
    by Linda Johnson
  • De juiste wijn bij het juiste gerecht
    De juiste wijn bij het juiste gerecht
    by Johnson-Bell Linda

  • Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match
    Good Food, Fine Wine: A Practical Guide to Finding the Perfect Match
    by LINDA JOHNSON-BELL

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Monday
Mar042013

Amarone ... my favourite wine

Amarone is not the name of a place. Nor is it the name of a grape. Amarone is a wine-making method, a style of wine.  Amarone, once tasted, is forever inscribed on one’s palate, and the memory of it …variations on a theme of spiced cherries, smoky plums, chalky mineral, and moist, dark earth … forever haunts the mind like an unobtainable lover: impenetrable and indecipherable… yet intoxicating.

Amarone is a style of the dry red wine from Veneto’s Valpolicella. Amarone, Recioto and Ripasso are all styles of Valpolicella, and are all issued from the same grapes: Corvina, Molinara and Rondinella. The variable is the degree to which the grapes are allowed to dry before being pressed: so, its sweetness. Unadulterated Valpolicella is the driest style, the starting point, and is light-bodied, zesty with a fresh grape flavour and is meant to be drunk young.  But when the same grapes undergo the air-drying method or appassimento, usually on straw mats for several months, until they are nearly shrivelled to raisins, we are rewarded with Amarone, a highly alcoholic, heavy, complex, black, almost bitter, velvety concoction. It needs years to fully mature, so buy the newer vintages now for cellaring. The great appeal of Amarone is its double personality. It toys between the dry and the sweet, the masculine and the feminine, the powerful and the elegant… always enticing us back for more.

TWO TO TRY

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Doc “Punta di Villa”, Roberto Mazzi, 2004

This is a traditional, elegant interpretation with a restrained approach – no flashy fruit. It builds up slowly and explodes on the palate and is not dominated by oak.www.grossiwines.co.uk £31 approx

 

Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Doc Il Bosco¸ Cesari¸2005

Also in a classic style, with a very grown-up and sophisticated veneer which belies its decadent opulence. www.fiandaca.co.uk  £28 approx

 LJ Johnson-Bell

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