Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Acinum Amarone and Charles Heidseick

Vintage Acinum Amarone and Charles Heidseick birthyear wines for family dinner

As we approach the arrival of scores of friends and family for a weekend full of wedding celebration festivities, we were hosted by our in-laws for a family dinner at their home in Westport, CT.  From our cellar collection selections that I brought to CT for the events, I took two bottles of Alec's birthyear vintage wines for the occasion, a Champagne and an Amarone. 

Charles Heidsieck Brut Millésimé Champagne 1990

We tasted a bottle of this a few months ago for Father's Day with Alec and Vivianna. 

This vintage release was awarded 97 points from Wine Spectator and 94 points from Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar.

I blogged about that tasting at that time when I wrote, "This was a delightful surprise showing and drinking well, meeting all my expectations for this bottle. I was a bit concerned when upon opening and releasing the cork under pressure, the seeming pressure and resulting 'pop' were less than expected. Never-the-less, as hoped, the foil, cork, label, fill level and resulting wine were all ideal, showing no signs of diminution from aging. 

Amazing, impressive life left in this 31 year old vintage Champagne. 

The color was dark gold colored with intense, complex, dry, finely integrated layers of zesty citrus fruits accented by notes of roasted almonds and paine grille with hints of fresh dough, smoke, and pineapple with a long bright vibrant finish. 

RM 92 points.

Acinum Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 1990

Traditional Amarone della Valpolicella is from the Veneto region, located in north east Italy, in the foothills of the Lessini Moutains north of Verona. Valpolicella and Amarone della Valpolicella are some of the country’s most famous fine wines. They are produced primarily from the Corvina grape. Directly after harvest, the grapes are air dried through a process called “appassimento”, which allows them to shrivel into raisins. This concentrates the sugar and flavors in the grapes, producing a distinctive and full-bodied wine well-suited to aging.  

Uncharacteristically, my cellar notes do not show when or where this bottle was acquired. Similarly, Cellartracker has little data of others purchasing or tasting this wine - rare given its 10 million bottle inventory and 100,000 tasting notes.

At thirty one years, this was past its prime but still within its acceptable drinking window, showing its age in the color and starting to lose the fruit flavors to somewhat musty non-fruit notes of tea and leather. The fill level and label were in good condition as was the cork. 

A typical Amarone, deep ruby colored, but starting to turn a bit brownish from age, medium to full bodied with full forward ripe raisiny fig and black fruits.

The body is a bit lighter and the fruits are less pronounced than most Amarones I have had in the past.

RM 87 points.