To make Amarone, only the least compact clusters of the best grapes are selected for drying on cane racks, where they lose almost half their weight before they are fermented in early February (just in case you wondered why Amarone is so expensive).
After a very slow fermentation (the cellar is cold in February!), 10% of the wine goes into 225-liter barriques, and the rest into 3000-liter oak botti, where it matures for three full years before bottling.
In the glass, this classic Amarone has a saturated, dark garnet color. Sun-warmed raspberries, brandied amarena cherries, roasted chestnuts, and melted dark chocolate move in and out of the foreground, adding golden raisins, fresh white tobacco, eucalyptus, and chiodini tree mushrooms as the nose evolves in the glass.
On the palate, the wine is supple and plush, with mouth filling, dried fruit flavors that echo the nose; everything seasoned with allspice berries and cardamom, and framed by smooth round tannins. The limestone minerality and fresh fruit acidity carry the flavors through a long clean finish.
About this wine producer: Ca’ La Bionda was founded in 1902 by Pietro Castellani, Alessandro’s great grandfather, who was a passionate grape grower and winemaker. The east facing hillside vineyards extend over 29 hectares in the commune of Marano di Valpolicella, northwest of Verona, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico zone. Only traditional varieties, including Corvina Veronese, Corvinone, and Rondinella are grown (there are no international varieties), and the farming is entirely organic. Particular attention and care are given to the delicate process of drying the grapes for the production of the Amarone and the sweet Reciotto.