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bolla Is someone who achieves virtue effortlessly a better person that someone who must struggle to achieve it but eventually succeeds? Aristotle thought so. He thought the person who is naturally self-controlled is superior to the person who struggles with conflicting desires but in the end gains control.

I suppose there is something to be said for struggle. Perhaps the person who gets there too easily fails to fully appreciate it. But on the other hand, all that conflict is anathema to acquaintances who must bear the bad consequences of turmoil. I think I’m with Aristotle; I prefer the natural virtue.

I certainly do in wine. This Amarone made me think of hard-won virtue.

Out of the bottle the first impression was of a rich almost elegant wine but the mid-palate explodes in turmoil—high acidity boosts swelling bitter herbal notes that carry through the finish. This is a kinetic wine that assaults the palate and needs to calm down. An hour of decanting improved it. And by day two it achieved balance.

Rich black cherry, smelling faintly of raisins, soft threads of loam and subtle cedar notes weave through the nose. The palate is powerful especially on the back end with lots of movement from the fruit dominant entrance to the lengthy bitter herbal finish. Stout but not fleshy and very dry with vigorous acidity, the tannins are refined and not overly prominent although they will sneak up on you. There are more luscious Amarones around but this one is interesting enough to be intriguing for serious fans of this distinctive style.

This is a mischievous wine, fierce but well intentioned, a bit challenging but satisfying in the end.

Alc: 15.5%

Price: $44

Score: 89/100