2016 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Lena di Mezzo, Monte del Frà, Veneto, Italy

2016 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Lena di Mezzo, Monte del Frà, Veneto, Italy

Product: 20168009564
Prices start from £35.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2016 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, Lena di Mezzo, Monte del Frà, Veneto, Italy

Description

Dried tangerine peel, brambleberries, rose hips, bitter herbs and wet earth on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, fine-grained tannins. Concentrated with a herbal, powdery finish. Drink or hold.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Oct 2021)

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Critics reviews

James Suckling91/100
Decanter92/100
Wine Enthusiast94/100
Eric Guido, Vinous93/100
James Suckling91/100
Dried tangerine peel, brambleberries, rose hips, bitter herbs and wet earth on the nose. It’s medium-to full-bodied with firm, fine-grained tannins. Concentrated with a herbal, powdery finish. Drink or hold.

James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (Oct 2021) Read more
Decanter92/100
Located in the Fumane Valley, the Bonomo family's Lena di Mezzo estate reaches altitudes upwards of 350 metres, with chalky clay soils of volcanic origin. Amarone grapes are harvested in mid-October, then undergo a long drying period of 110 to 120 days. The 2016 demonstrates appealing notes of allspice, plum compote and mocha. There is a perceptible hint of sweetness but plenty of plush, concentrated fruit to absorb it, and the subtle tannic grip is most welcome.

Drink 2021 - 2028

Michaela Morris, Decanter.com (Feb 2020) Read more
Wine Enthusiast94/100
Aromas of ripe red plum, new leather, blue flower and pipe tobacco mingle together in this bold red. The full-bodied palate features steeped prune, raisin, licorice and sandalwood alongside tightly woven, velvety tannins. Drink through 2028.

Kerin O'Keefe, winemag.com (Jan 2021) Read more
Eric Guido, Vinous93/100
The 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Lena di Mezzo mixes crushed blackberries with plum sauce, wild exotic spices and dark chocolate. It’s remarkably fresh for an Amarone, casting silky textures across a medium-bodied frame, but it’s supported by vibrant acidity and a mix of tart wild berry fruits and minerals that saturate the palate. Notes of spiced orange peel, medicinal cherry and sweet herbs linger long over a bed of rounded tannins. There’s just the slightest hint of heat here, but the balance is otherwise perfect. I’m loving the savory-over-sweet persona as well.

Drink 2021 - 2028

Eric Guido, vinous.com (Feb 2021) Read more

About this WINE

Monte del Fra

Monte del Fra

Monte del Frà translates as ;Hill of Monks; and is located in the heart of the Bianco di Custoza DOC. It now consists of over 65 hectares of vineyards is owned and run by brothers Eligio and Claudio Bonomo. It is one of the most progressive and dynamic producers in the region and has been particularly innovative in its adoption of modern viticultural techniques.

Eligio Bonomo was the first producer in the region to retrain the traditionally 1.6m high cordon vines to lower-trained, single guyot systems. In the winery the Bonomos use thoroughly modern, clean and temperature-controlled fermentation and storage facilities in order to preserve the aromatic freshness in their wines. They produce very good-quality wines which are clean, display excellent purity of fruit and are elegant and well balanced.

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Amarone della Valpolicella

Amarone della Valpolicella

Amarone della Valpollicella, a leading Venetian wine DOC, now represents 25% of the total production of Valpolicella wine. Amarone della Valpolicella (normally known more snappily as "Amarone") is made using partially shrivelled fruit that has been left to dry, and produces a rich, full-bodied, unfortified, dry red wine. 

Amarone's sweeter sibling Recioto della Valpolicella can trace its history back to the Romans, when Pliny, Virgil and Columella made reference to a wine called "Recitium", however, Amarone was not seen until it was first sold in 1936 and was only officially recognised in 1953. Its birth was apparently the result of a producer forgetting to take his Recioto out of barrel, allowing it to ferment to dryness.

Located between Lake Garda and Venice, the Amarone zone is concentrated around the villages of Negrar, Fumane, Marano, Sant Ambroglio and San Pietro-in-Cariano. Its vines grow on stony, volcanic, calcareous sites in the foothills of the Lessini Mountains at between 150m and 350m above sea level. With Lake Garda and the Adriatic Sea nearby, the region's climate is relatively temperate although the proximity of the Alps brings with it the constant threat of hail (as occurred in 2007).

Corvina (aka Veronese) and Corvinone must constitute 80% of the blend, with Rondinella, Molinara and Croatina accounting for the remaining 20%. Once harvested, the clean fruit is traditionally dried in airy lofts for 100-120 days over the winter, a process known as "appassimento". This typically results in an increase of sugar by 27% and dry extract by 28% while malic acid levels reduce by 66% with tartaric acid levels remaining the same. Importantly, evaporation leads to a 65% reduction in must weight (although this is less in modern purpose-built "lofts") aided and abetted by the development of noble rot (aka "botrytis cinerea"). The desiccated fruit is pressed in the March following the October harvest and fermented in Slavonian or French oak. 

It is then aged for up to 7 years (as is the case for the wines of Giuseppe Quintarelli). The left-over grape pomace is recycled, with Valpolicella Classicopassed through it to produce Valpolicella Ripasso. The legal minimum alcohol level for Amarone is 14% but most easily surpass 15%. The best wines are dense and richly textured - reminiscent of Vintage Port but drier and without the fortification! - with lively acidity, supple tannins and lovely flavours of Morello cherry, roast coffee and chocolate.

Recommended producers: Bussola, Corte Sant' Alda, Dal Forno and Giuseppe Quintarelli.

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Corvina, Corvinone blend

Corvina, Corvinone blend

Corvina is widely grown on the Veneto shore of Lake Garda and the hills of Valpolicella to the north and north-east of Verona. Sometimes known as Corvina Veronese, it is blended with Rondinella and Molinara to produce Valpolicella and Bardolino. It can be a tricky grape to cultivate, as it ripens late and is prone to rot if affected by rains at harvest time. It is a high-yielding grape and quality is very dependent on keeping yields low.

Corvina-based red wines can range in style from a light, cherryish red to the rich, port-like Recioto and Amarone Valpolicellas. Most Valpolicella from the plains is pale and insipid, and bears little comparison with Valpolicella Classico from the hills. Some producers such as Allegrini are now producing very high quality 100% Corvina wines.

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