ITALY | VENETO
The Antolini vineyards cover a total of 9 hectares. Their viticultural philosophy is based solely on respecting the environment and making best use of what nature can offer.
For example, they do not irrigate as they rely on the soil, predominantly clay, which retains water, releasing it slowly deep into the roots. They do not use chemicals or pesticides. Instead, they nurture natural predators to curtail pests and use natural pheromones to combat moths. Structurally, using rocks collected from clearing of the fields, they build terraces (marogne) on the hillside to maximize exposure of the vines to the sun. They plant olives and roses strategically among the vines that altogether create a favorable ecosystem.
The Antolini brothers talk about these as traditional wisdoms that have been passed down from generations, without ever coining the word “organic”. The work of harvest is truly a labor of love. In the case of grapes destined to become Amarone, each bunch is harvested exclusively by hand, graded for its quality, and laid down into a wooden crate to dry naturally for 90 – 120 days. The drying process is checked daily for needs to adjust ventilation according to ambient conditions. By January, the grapes would have lost 30% – 40% of their fluid as they enter the process of fermentation.
The Antolini brothers are grateful that their hard work does bear fruit in their Amarones that have achieved 90+ point ratings in the pass 5 years.
» Rich ruby core with garnet rim; on the nose is a youthful aroma of red fruits, roses, and distinct herbal and vanilla notes.
» On the palate, it is dry, acidic, and full bodied, with moderately high tannins through mid-palate and a long finish.
» Although still youthful, it is showing signs of complexity and has the ingredients that support further aging for several more years when more secondary characters emerge, and tannins smooth out.
» Good sipping wine on its own while ideal with red meats as well as fresh and mature cheeses.
VALPOLICELLA RIPASSO CLASSICO SUPERIORE DOC
Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella
» This Ripasso has a clear, vibrant, ruby-red color with an intense and complex bouquet of red fruits which evolves into a spicier flavor of vanilla, cloves, and bitter chocolate.
» Its crisp, softly-tannic mouth feel coats the palate with gentle warmth and provides a pleasantly dry aftertaste.
» Great with lasagna but it is versatile enough to accompany many dishes including white meat.
AMARONE DELLA VALPOLICELLA CLASSICO DOCG ‘MOROPIO’
Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella
» Ruby red with garnet reflections, the bouquet consists of black cherry, plum, vanilla, clove, cinnamon, dried violets, and a raisin quality.
»Velvety on the palate with smooth tannins, the high alcohol is met with adequate fruit and acidity, giving it good balance and a long finish.
»This wine drinks well now and will show further secondary character over the next 5–7 years. Pairs well with stewed, braised, or grilled meat and game as well as slightly piquant cheese.
- Tobacco, underbrush and ripe dark-berry aromas lead the nose. The savory structured palate offers raisin, clove and black pepper set against fine-grained tannins.❞ – Kerin O'Keefe, Wine Enthusiast (March 2019)
- 92 POINTS – Wine Enthusiast (March 2019)