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Wine of the Month – February 2012: La Collina dei Ciliegi, Amarone della Valpolicella 2007 (Laithwaites £25.00)

February 10, 2012 5:33 pm / by

February is, of course, the month of Valentine’s Day and this wine of the month is being posted just in time for the great day.  Now, most wine-lovers will instinctively go for champagne as the drink of choice for a romantic evening but, being the contrarian I am, I am going to suggest something different.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of fizz and I’ll invariably start a dinner party with a bottle or two of bubbly (not necessarily champagne – some English sparkling wines are now outstanding [more on this another time]), but there will be no bubbly for me this Valentine’s Day!  Why Amarone? Well, it hails from Verona, the city of love, the city of Romeo and Juliet.  And Verona hosts its annual ‘Verona in Love’ which attracts thousands of lovers each year who return to the city especially for Valentine’s Day.  This is a serious wine meant to be drunk with food and so the ideal accompaniment to a romantic meal during which the discourse of love is prominent.

This wine is a blend of Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella grapes.  Amarone is made by drying the grapes in special drying lodges so that they become raisined and the grapes used in this particular Amarone were meticulously hand-picked from prestigious vineyards and were given a long drying – one month more than the minimum required.  The wine was aged in used oak barriques for 18 months.  Some Amarones are overpowering and can be a massive 16+% alcohol.  This beauty, although typically full-bodied, is a mere 14.5% alcohol and this makes for an excellent accompaniment to a meal.  It has fantastic structure and is complex with amazing length.  Lots of plum, cherry and a hint of cigar on the nose with lashings of fruit on the palate.  It is highly drinkable now but will develop over the next two to three years.

This wine won the Regional Trophy for red wines over £10 from the Veneto region of Italy in the Decanter World Wine Awards 2011.  It is not cheap and usually retails around £50 a bottle but is currently available at half that price from Laithwaites.  Go on, your partner is worth it.  Forget the fizz for once, treat yourself to this and think of Verona and love.

 

4 Comments

  1. lisa allen says:

    This sounds yummy and I am very tempted to get some …. :)

  2. lloyd says:

    This has obviously proved popular as Laithwaites are now out of stock! However, they are expecting more in on 30th March. PLease contact them to secure your order.

  3. lloyd says:

    I was too ill on Valentine’s Day to drink wine so I am now having a bottle on the Saturday after. This is a truly complex wine – plum, cherry and a hint of chocolate on the palate but with underlying notes of pepper and some spice. Much more subtle than some of the blockbuster high-alcohol Amarones. Magnificent!

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