Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Zeni Amarone della Valpolicellas

Zeni Amarone della Valpolicellas

Fellow Pour Boys Ernie and Lyle and I helped host and serve at the Valpolicella Wines Trade & Media Tasting Event in Chicago last November, where we were called in to service to assist in setup and serving. At this event, the Consorzios of Valpolicella and Lugana also conducted a Masterclass seminar and tasting in addition to the exclusive trade tasting of these regions’ most exceptional recent vintages. 

There, I discovered Zeni Amarone della Valpolicella Barriques. I've been on the lookout for the label ever since.

So, I was excited to see the Zeni Amarone della Valpolicella Classico label on the winelist at the INUL8 Wine Bar in Rotterdam when out on the town with my EMEA roadshow team.

The Zeni family has been producing wines for four generations, dating back to 1870 in the area of Bardolino, Italy.

Fratelli Zeni manages about twenty hectares of its own vineyards located in the Bardolino hills. they also sources grapes from numerous local growers.

Fratelli Zeni produces the classical wines of the province of Verona; all are DOC wines : Bardolino classico, Bardolino Chiaretto classico, Soave classico, Custoza, Valpolicella classico, Amarone and Recioto.

The current proprietor Gaetano Zeni has invested in and updated the facilities and vineyards; cetnury-old wine barrels, new barrels of toasted wood, careful management of the vineyards, control of production, and updated technology all contribute to the quality and individuality of Fratelli Zeni wines.

Zeni 1870 Amarone della Valpolicella Barriques 2012

I discovered and tasted this label at the Valpolicella Wines Tasting Event in Chicago.

This was the most unique Amarone della Valpolicella I've ever tasted with its sweet spicy oak flavors infused into the wine from aging in for 12-24 months in French oak barriques. I loved it.

This label is a selection of the best grape bunches from the harvest from the hilly vineyards. The grapes are collected in small crates and left to raisin in order to achieve a high concentration of sugar, extracts, aromas and glycerine according to the Amarone custom and style the.raisining of the grapes lasts for 4 months followed by traditional skin fermentation and 20-25 days maceration, The juice is then aged in French oak barriques (large barrels) for 12-24 months adding the sweet spicy oak notes to the flavor and character of the aged wine.

This is a blend of 40% Corvina, 50% Corvinone, and 10% Rondinella. The final release has an alcohol content of 15.4% vol.,

This was Garnet colored, full bodied black berry and black raspberry fruits accented by sweet spicy toasted oak and notes of vanilla, tobacco leaf, tea an leather with supple lingering tannins on the lively finish.

RM 92 points. 

After a steak and beer dinner in Rotterdam we set out for an after dinner glass of wine and landed at 1NUL8 Wine Bar and Restaurant.

Having tasted the Zeni 1870 Amarone at the trade and industry tasting, I was captivated by this other Amarone from this producer and was eager to try it.

Zeni 1870 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2015

This is sourced from the Valpolicella Classica zone, the hilly band to the north of Verona with red-brown soil with limestone-marly and basaltic sediments. This is a blend of 60% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, and 10% Rondinella.

The grapes are harvested as the Amarone above, hand selection of the best grape bunches coming from hilly vineyards, the grape collected in small crates and left to raisin in order to achieve a high concentration of sugar, extracts, aromas and glycerine. The difference is that for the Classico, the  raisining of the grapes lasts 2-3 months followed by traditional skin fermentation and 15-20 days maceration, and the aging lasts in oak barrels for 2-3 years, depending on the vintage. the resulting wine is alcohol content  of14.8% vol.

Bright ruby red with a garnet red tinge, medium full bodied, bright vibrant notes of black berry and bing cherry accented with notes of vanilla and hints of cocoa and spices with tangy lingering tannins on the finish.

RM 90 points.