Amarone production begins in the vineyard, where Pergola and Guyot-trained vines are carefully managed to produce flawless bunches of fruit. Only the best fruit, strictly selected to eliminate damaged bunches, is used. That fruit rests for around 120 days in a drying room, humidity-controlled room to avoid botrytis. In January, months after harvest, the concentrated fruit is vinified over 15 days. Brigaldara’s goal is to produce Amarone with body, freshness, and drinkability upon release, with no oxidation. Their wine is a departure from old-style Amarone made from dried, often botrytized, fruit fermented over a 40-day period. It spent one year in barriques, then two years in large 25 hectolitre oak vessels prior to bottling.
A Corvinone-dominant blend featuring Corvina and Rondinella, this is a sumptuous Amarone with a spicy, perfumed bouquet of black cherry and vanilla. The palate reveals a ripe core of bitter chocolate and spiced fruit cake, with complex flavours of Mirabelle plum and coffee. An attractive note of black tea persists through the finish. Alcohol, often a determining quality for Amarone-lovers, is nicely balanced by the wine’s density and velvety texture. It’s a powerful wine, yet elegant and graceful.
“Located just outside the town of San Floriano, the Villa Brigaldara and surrounding estate dates back to the 15th century, but it was not until 1929 that it was acquired by the current owners, the Cesari family. Today, their holdings cover 50ha in three different areas of Valpolicella. Four bottlings of Amarone are produced from these, with the Classico being exclusively from the vineyards surrounding the villa. The grapes are left to dry for 120 days, with the wine then spending one year in barrique and two years in large-volume 25hl Slavonian oak barrels. It’s a blend of 45% Corvinone, 45% Corvina and 10% Rondinella. Michael Garner: Ethereal red fruit aromas joined by shades of tobacco and spice, followed by an intense palate of bright fresh fruit underscored by notes of seasoned oak and charred spice. Heady and distinctive. Andrew Jefford: Refined and elegant aromas: subtle and enticing, with great harmony. It’s light and graceful on the palate, in a very classical style akin to ultra-traditional Barolo, aged to a state of great harmony and finesse. Monty Waldin: Seems nicely unforced and easy to enjoy, with a wonderfully transparent fruit and oak profile. We have here a gratifying antidote to the caricature that contemporary Amarone can be – namely big blockbusters, too bold and boisterous. Drinking window 2019 – 2026.”
95 points, Decanter, Jan 2019