Cantina di Negrar, DOCG Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Veneto, Italy, 2010
See my amarone entry in italian terminology.
This wine: Cantina di Negra is a a co-op with 230 growers farming 700ha, where there is a scientific approach to deciding which vineyards are best suited to producing grapes for amarone. This wine is made from grapes desiccated for 120 days; a blend of 70% corvina, and 15% each of corvinone and rondinella, fermented to dry, so high alcohol, then a minimum of 24 months in Slavonian oak, then some time in bottle; natural cork closure, 15% abv, £20 (2014)
Consumer tasting note: rich ripe intense, well-developed, quite porty with high warming alcohol and some lightening floral notes, then a palate of mainly dark fruits, with oaky spice, very complex, with a long length and the typical amarone bitterness on the end.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity garnet, showing tears.
Nose: clean, pronounced intensity, developing, with aromas as they come, of porty black currant and black cherry, liquorice, dark chocolate, vanilla, spice, rose and violets, rich leaf humus, dried and stewed black berries, tobacco, smoke, toast, stewed red berries, wet prune, raisin, a slightly rancid over-ripe undertone.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe well-integrated medium tannins, high warming alcohol and a full body, medium (+) intensity, a silky texture, with flavours of spicy black cherry, black olive, stewed red plum, toast and spice, stewed black berries, prune, and a generally porty character. A long length with a clean dark fruit, slightly stewed finish, with a bitterness on the end.
Quality: a very good quality wine, acidity and tannins are a match for the high alcohol, seems more than the 15% declared though, and with the rich flavour intensity and palette. Quite well-developed, showing in the garnet hue, with a decent but not outstanding concentration, but a high level of complexity from oak and bottle ageing, with eg dried and stewed fruits and chocolate, and a somewhat over-ripe undertone that can only be described as slightly rancid – still, adds to the complexity. A long cooked black fruit finish with a definite bitterness on the end.
Readiness for drinking/ageing potential: can drink now, but has potential for further ageing, but not that long, perhaps 2-3 years, as development is already well underway.