Feb 28: For those interested in full-bodied, powerful wines and lovers of Amarone, Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella docg offers an excellent option at a higher retail cost of Rs. 8,000 writes Subhash Arora who has always liked the wine imported by Hema Connoisseur and is happy to note that their 2015 vintage just won the Grand Gold and won the Best of the Show Trophy for an Amarone
Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella has been my favourite red wine from Valpolicella. Imported by Hema Connoisseur Collection for several years, I found it a good value for one of the most premium wines of Italy at around Rs. 6200. But due to consistent escalation of costs it has gone up to Rs. 8,000 a bottle. This is not as attractive as before but Delhi has become a very difficult market with the increase in registration cost of imported wines from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 60,000 a bottle and since the volumes of Rs. 2,000+ wines are not high enough, the cost per unit has gone up substantially with time on such wines. Yet, in the current market conditions, this is a good value for money wine- unless one can buy it from the winery or an enoteca in Verona
I was not surprised when Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella docg 2015 was adjudged as the Best Amarone at the Mundus Vine international wine competition that concluded on Sunday and the results as usual were announced on Tuesday, winning a Grand Gold to begin with. Grand Gold is given to a wine if it gets over 95/100 points from the panel of 5 or 6 judges. One of the reasons why I have always liked this wine is because it has some of the lowest alcohol in Amarone produced-15%. The very basic concept of drying the grapes like Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella and decreasingly Molinara now, makes it a high alcohol wine at 16-16.5% - a rather heavy and heady wine. At 15%, it is a very well balanced full-bodied wine that goes very well with hearty meals- red meat is pretty much a requirement to enjoy the wine to its fullest- unless you love Amarone anyway. Incidentally, this Amarone uses only Corvina as the constituent grape.
The Mundusvini Great International Wine Award which awarded only 37 Grand Gold, 1,487 Gold and 1,358 Silver medals to about 7,200 wines (the medals are restricted to a total of 40%) shows how difficult it is to extract a Grand Gold medal from the international jury from around 50 countries, who taste 45-50 wines every day for up to 6 days to reach this conclusion.
An important aspect of the competition and which describes this wine is the Aroma and Flavour wheel, crafted by the tasters marking their impressions about the characteristics described in the adjoining wheel-making this wine an excellent addition to anyone’s collection. It is also an excellent ‘Meditation wine’- one can have a couple of glasses with hard seasoned cheeses or cigar (I won’t recommend the latter though). A friendly conversation and perhaps discussing the present political/ military conditions in India with friends would be very conducive to drinking this wine even after-dinner.
The Aroma and Flavour Wheel
The flavour profile of Cesari Amarone 2015 which was tasted at the competition, is made up of several variables and based on each panel’s observations recorded on the right hand side of the score sheet. Recording from 0-10, we observe the following characteristics:
· The wine has a lot of potential for ageing and is very harmonious, an essential element for a fine wine.
· It has predominant red berry and cherry aromas and has spicy notes though oak is in balance and not as predominant.
· It has fuller body and is a complex wine. It has a good balance between sweetness and acidity. It has least amount of coffee and chocolate notes. The bitterness is mercifully lacking and it is fairly jammy.
· All these characteristics helped made it win enough points (over 95/100) to get the Grand Gold and also the Best in Class, thus enabling it to wine the Trophy for the Best Amarone della Valpolicella.
For detailed results on the Mundusvini International wine competition, please visit:
I was also one of the international judges at the competition and tasted several Italian wines but do not recollect tasting this wine at Mundusvini-my 15th edition- editor
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