From: Valpolicella, Italy
Blend: Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella
Tasting: Visually, the wine presents an intense ruby-red color, indicating its richness. On the nose, it offers delightful aromas of red fruits like raspberry and blackberry. The palate is greeted with a soft texture, ample tannins, and a slight spiciness. Sweet hints of black cherry and ripe fruit further enhance the tasting experience.
Pairing: The robust, sometimes oxidized character of traditional Amarones makes them especially well-suited for pairing with steaks, stews, and ribs. The red fruit intensity and softer tannins of modern Amarones mean they pair well with pork, veal, poultry, and red meats in the form of stracotto, braised beef, and slow-cooked proteins. All Amarones work well with big-flavored cheeses.
By Melissa Clark
About: Corte Scaletta, a family-run farm in the verdant Marcellise Valley, is just a stone's throw from the historic city of Verona. Established as a vineyard in 2011, Corte Scaletta is a testament to the family's deep connection to the land and their commitment to producing high-quality wines that reflect the unique characteristics of the Valpolicella DOC region.
The vineyards of Corte Scaletta are nestled in an idyllic setting, shielded by surrounding mountains and hills that create a microclimate ideal for grape cultivation. The estate sprawls across the pristine landscapes of Marcellise and the Musella estate, where traditional grape varieties like Corvina, Corvinone, and Rondinella flourish alongside a smaller vineyard of Cabernet Sauvignon.
The vineyard employs the Guyot training system, ensuring a low grapes yield per plant. This method is instrumental in encapsulating the essence of these autochthonous varieties, which are the cornerstone of the celebrated Valpolicella DOC Superiore and Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG wines.
In line with sustainable agricultural practices, Corte Scaletta shuns chemical herbicides. Instead, they maintain the natural grasses that thrive among the vine rows, contributing to a balanced and healthy ecosystem. This harmonious relationship with nature is reflected in every aspect of their vineyard management, from the careful hand-selection of grapes to the meticulous cutting of grass under the vines using specialized machinery.
Corte Scaletta's cellar is a hub of traditional wine-making, where grapes undergo natural drying and gentle processing to preserve their aromatic qualities. The winery's dedication to quality is evident in every production phase, ensuring that the wines produced are authentic expressions of their origin.
The winery is proud of its strong local identity, using only grapes from its vineyards and overseeing every production stage with passion and expertise. This dedication extends to their environmental responsibility, with Corte Scaletta utilizing 100% renewable energy, thanks to their collaboration with Enegan and a solar power plant integration.
The Valpolicella wine region in Italy is unique for producing four distinct wine styles - Valpolicella, Recioto, Amarone, and Ripasso - all from a similar blend of native grapes: Corvina, Rondinella, Corvinone, and Molinara. By regulation, Valpolicella DOC wines must contain 45-95% Corvina, with Corvinone substituting up to half of Corvina, adding a rounded cherry flavor. Rondinella, accounting for 5-30% of the blend, imparts floral tones, while Molinara, used sparingly, brings a crisp acidity. The resulting Valpolicella wines are vibrant and balanced, with tangy sour cherry notes.
Recioto, a sweet dessert wine, is crafted by drying ripe grapes in January either on mats or by hanging and then fermenting these concentrated grapes until just before complete sugar-to-alcohol conversion. This technique yields wines with rich sweetness and lively acidity.
This wine is crafted with a blend of 40% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, and 30% Rondinella, this Amarone stands out in its composition. The grapes are carefully selected and handpicked, ensuring only the highest quality. They are then naturally dried for twenty to thirty days, a process that concentrates their flavors and sugars, giving the wine its characteristic intensity.
Amarone, known for its "great bitterness," is produced by allowing the dried grapes to ferment fully. It results in a robust, slightly raisinated wine with a pleasing bitter edge, dark berries, and cocoa undertones. This method imparts additional sweetness, color, and roundness to the wine. The Amarone is then aged in oak barrels for 30 months, followed by a bottle aging of at least six months. This lengthy aging process results in a wine with a complex character and a rich depth of flavor.
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