2018 Fattori 'Col de Bastia' Amarone della Valpolicella DOCG, Veneto, Italy (750ml)

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Quite coincidentally, fattori is the Italian word for "farmers", and Antonio Fattori, viticulturist and winemaker of Fattori winery comes from five generations of farmers. His grandfather planted his first vineyard in the early 1900s near the village of Terrossa, about 20 minutes east of Verona. The site would in 1927 become part of the original Soave Classico zone, which at present day comprises only the top 25% of all Soave produced. Antonio realized early on the potential of his family's estate and made it his goal to produce wines that express its unique terroir. The mineral rich, volcanic and basalt soils in this region produce fresh, mineral driven, aromatic wines. He became the first in his family to go to enology school—in Conegliano, Italy's first wine school. He went to Dijon in Burgundy, and then to New Zealand, in an effort to understand different winemaking traditions.

Antonio organically farms his 161 acres of vineyards, all of which are located less than three miles from the winery. The red grapes in this Amarone come from Antonio's 12-hectare vineyard called Col de la Bastia, named after the local medieval fortresses in the area. The vineyard sits between Val d’Alpone and Val d’Illasi, one of several vine-covered slopes flanked by mountain streams, where shale and clay alternate with limestone. The area is ideal for ripening Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, and the other indigenous grapes of the zone.

A special selection of hand-picked grapes (65% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 10% other varieties including Teroldego) were fan-dried for two weeks, then spent four months in the fruttaio, a ventilated room where the grapes are dried in small boxes, before being pressed and fermented with natural yeasts. The water loss promotes the concentration of flavors and aromas, and contributes to the lush texture of the resulting wine. Aged in wood for 24 months before bottling.

Ruby robe. Rich layered aromas of dried red fruits laced with savory herbs. The palate is ripe and engaging with intense flavors of Damson plum, black cherry and fig, with a subtle dusting of cocoa and spice. Expansive, with a graceful, long arching finish and perfectly polished tannins. A wonderful example of Amarone done right!

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