The “rich, powerful” Amarone wine from Italy’s Valpolicella region has a history that reaches back to ancient Rome, said Laurie Daniel in the San Jose Mercury News. That’s when winemakers first developed the technique known as “appassimento”—a three- to four-month process in which grapes are “dried until they lose 30 percent to 40 percent of their weight.” The wine that results can be up to 15 percent alcohol, and makes a great companion for grilled meats and bold cheeses, “particularly Grana Padano, an aged cheese from the Verona area.”
2005 Allegrini Amarone ($85)
Strong but smooth, this wine has bright cherry flavors, “a nice sweetness to the fruit, and a slight earthy quality.”
2005 Masi ‘Costasera’ Amarone ($60)
”Lively and dry” on the palate, this wine “displays dried fruit aromas” and a hint of tobacco.
2005 Tommasi Amarone ($60)
This “rich and ripe” bottle boasts “fine tannins” and flavors that range from dark fruit to bittersweet chocolate.
2005 Sartori ($40)
A good value. Bold, with a black-cherry feel and hints of “anise and mineral.”