Wine Review: Fasoli Gino Alteo Amarone della Valpolicella 2011

fasoli ginoAmarone might be the richest dry wine available. After harvest, carefully selected grapes are air dried for several months until they shrivel into raisins thus concentrating the sugars and other flavors producing a wine that tastes like no other—hefty, powerful, alcoholic, yet warm and inviting. In style they run the gamut from overweight and simple with tannins that need time to soften, to sumptuous, complex and velvety, but the best expressions have bright acidity to balance the mammoth fruit.

Traditional styles are earthy with leather and high acidity. Modern styles have dark, polished fruit, lower acidity and more weight. Fasoli Gino’s Alteo has a foot in both worlds.

The nose unloads its gaudy, scented merchandise, a heady mélange of dried and fresh fig, dark cherry liqueur, a complex spice box of clove and allspice, vanilla, freshly turned earth, and a lovely, background smoky note. The palate opens with massive, fresh juice, soft and lush, a dark tranquility, only to explode midpalate with a sharp upward trajectory of firm acidity that keeps the focus on top notes. Elegant, refined tannins provide an anchor on the long finish of dried fruit and licorice but never quite reign in the breathtaking exuberance. Despite the high alcohol, there is no trace of bitterness or heat.

A wine of passionate yearning, glowing with desire as it journeys from dreamy to dramatic.

As for music to express the heart of this wine, songs that embody such drama are often melancholic. This wine is anything but melancholic. At the risk of cliché, it as Andrea Bocelli’s Con Te Partiro with its strength, yearning yet hopeful sense of adventure that resonated best with this wine.

Technical Notes: A blend of Corvina 20%, Corvinone, 65%, and Rondinella 15%, the grapes are dried for 5-6 months, fermented for 25-35 days and then aged for three years in oak barrels. Grapes are organic and bio-dynamically farmed.

Score: 94

Price: $148 (Purchase Here)

Alc: 17.5 %

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