Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella ‘Labyrinth’ DOCG 2013
Grape Varietals: 65% Corvina, 25% Rondinella, 5% Corvinone & 5% Negrara
Growing Region: Valpantena, Verona - Italy
Chief Winemaker: Giovanni Nordera
4 Stars ★★★★
I first visited Italy back in 1990 - and over the years I have been a dedicated student learning as much as possible about the local history, culture, climate and most importantly the cuisine where these wines are crafted. The traditions and mystery behind Amarone wine is one of legend and a wine that does need explanation before you first taste or open a new expression. This is not to persuade - but when you open a 100 piece furniture flat-pack, it is always helpful when you have and an easy to follow diagram.
This unique red wine expression - is not so much a celebration of the indigenous grape varietals used - but more a painter / winemaker seeing what can be achieved with a slower, more timely technique and the result is a texturally delight and ever so rewarding.
This wine is a ‘limited edition’ with only 7000 bottles crafted - with each bottle wrapped in a bespoke pierce of artwork designed by Giorgia Fincato, a talented young local Veneto artist.
The vineyards for this wine are located on the gentle hillside slopes of Valpantena, in the north-east area of Valpolicella, a short distance from the winery. The parcels of ripe fruit were hand harvested in early October. After careful bunch selection, i.e. having fruit that is not too tight, close to each other for ideal air flow. The grapes are allowed to slowly dry, raisin on wooden racks, with the length of the drying process taking a minimum of 120 days.
As the grapes dehydrate and raisin, they increase in sugar extract by up to 30%. At the end of January the dried grapes are pressed and left to ferment for 25-30 days with continuous punching down to encourage extraction of colour and tannin. Then pressed-off and racked into stainless steel tanks where malolactic fermentation takes place. When ready, the wine is then transferred into French oak barrels where it was aged for 18-20 months. Then comes the tasting, blending and then bottling, where it rested in bottle for another 4 months before release.
• In your glass you will be greeted by a deep rich red colour with a cinnamon hue. On the nose you are enticed by vibrant aromas of black berries, plums, dark cherries, mocha-coffee along with sweet hazelnuts with subtle notes of vanilla.
The palate is full and engaging with multiple layers of ripe dark fruit flavours, cacao-chocolate and savoury characters all seamlessly infused with subtle dried spice. This wine is nicely-balanced along with smooth tannins and a thoughtful amount of oak. The wine has a generous preserve character from the first sip through to its lengthy finish.
This 2013 Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella ‘Labyrinth’ DOCG has 15% Alc./vol. Decant for 20-30 minutes and serve in a generously shaped glass at 16°- 18°C.
With decanting, drinking well this season; plus will age nicely for another 10 - 12 years.
FOOD PAIRING SUGGESTIONS:
Perfect wine pairing with prime red meats, slow cooked beef cheeks, game pie with truffle mash, rich pasta dishes, earthy vegetarian cuisine and aged, hard cheeses - enjoy.