ROCCOLO GRASSI: VALPOLICELLA AMARONE


This article is also available in: Italian

Marco Sartori, owner of the winery Roccolo Grassi, makes wines that generally touch me. They are local wines characterized by a great personality and produced with an excellent technique.
I discovered Roccolo Grassi through its powerful Amarone, absolutely one of the best in class, in the middle of the first decade of the new millennium during a blind tasting. Among the great giants of those days, a unique product emerged, making an impression on all the participants, including myself: it was the Amarone Classico 2000 produced by the company Roccolo Grassi, at that time unknown to me. As a big fan of this type (and, overall, a wine lover), I took the bull by the horns and I bought several bottles of that year for other tastings. I also wanted to see with my own eyes Marco Sartori, whose skills as a vigneron are second only to his modesty and humanity.
Marco is still young, but with clear ideas. His Amarone is characterized by an expressive and almost unique power, combined with an unusual elegance for this type of wine.
Two vintages have been tasted in parallel to assess the evolutionary process over the years: 2011, which represents the last year commercialized, and the 2000 historic vintage.

VALPOLICELLA AMARONE 2011

I’ve drunk recently this wine together with Marco, but also in seraphic and meditative solitude to feel better its articulated nuances and the great complexity that is not always feasible during rushed tastings, dazed most of the time by the great power of these sensory events. It is flame red, rich and bright. The intensity of the fragrances is very high, ranging from typically fruity notes to other really spicy. It is further enriched with the oxygenation, becoming more complex and mixing very pleasant scents of chocolate and tobacco with fascinating balsamic nuances. On the palate, it is powerful and explosive, warm and persistent. Austere for its aristocratic structure.
Technical note
Grape varieties: Corvina Veronese 60%, Rondinella 20% , Corvinone 15% Croatina 5%. They all come from Roccolo Grassi vineyards.
Alcohol content: 16.0 %
Vinification: Barriques (50% new-50% second phase) for 26 months + 24 months in bottle

VALPOLICELLA AMARONE 2000

it shows an extraordinary substance. Ruby red coloured, with strong garnet hues and a remarkable concentration, but still bright. The aromas are inebriating, featuring jam of black cherry, black cherry liqueur and undergrowth jelly. It amazes for its balsamic character, spicy notes, and the return of cocoa on a background of roasted coffee. If not happy enough with such appealing aromas, the first sip completes the feeling of fulfilment and pleasure. Made of unusual richness, it is soft and wide, powerful and voluptuous, a real caress for the palate, but stimulating and energetic at the same time. Time has given stratification and sensory richness to this wine that has become one of the most fascinating wines in circulation.

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