#winereview: Luigi Righetti “Capitel De’ Roari” Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Marano, Veneto, Italy 2007
Italian wines are widely known for their natural compatibility with food. Amarone, however, is traditionally considered by Italians as a “vino da meditazione”, a “contemplative wine” which is best enjoyed all by itself, commanding the drinker to slow down and reflect upon the wine’s depth and artistry.
Amarone is made from a traditional blend of hand selected Corvina, Rondinella and Molinara grapes left to hang on the vines for an additional ripening period. Whole bunches of these grapes are then spread on mats in cool drying rooms for 3 to 4 months to intensify flavors and sugar levels. Finally, the grapes are crushed and fermented, resulting in a full bodied wine with a 15 to 16 percent alcohol levels. Much, of this Amarone, though not all, is then aged five or more years before its final release. Today, some this additional aging happens in small, new oak barrels for additional concentration of flavors.
Because of labor and time intensive production methods, Amarone is not cheap. At $35-$45 retail, Luigi Righetti “Capitel De’ Roari” Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2007 is a comparatively affordable, entry level Amarone that bridges the gap between a food partner and a thinking wine.
Capitel de’ Roari Amarone is the flagship wine of the Righetti winery, a family-run winery in the heart of Valpolicella Classico in the Veneto, Italy. Silky, complex and full bodied - though at 14.5% alcohol, not as “big” as other Amarones. Layered and approachable black cherry, cassis, truffles, chocolate fudge, tobacco, and tar shine on both nose and palate. Soft grained tannins with a slight balancing bitterness and a very long pleasant finish.
I fully recommend this Luigi Righetti, though I suspect some traditional Amarone lovers may not fully appreciate this wine’s uncharacteristic lighter body weight, subtlety, and flexibility in style. For food pairing, try with roasted or braised meats, game, and aromatic hard cheeses such as Parmeggiano-Reggiano. Cin-Cin! (RD) 07/2014