- Oh sure, I’d like to drink Amarone every day! But with what I consider a “decent” bottle starting at $50, and going swiftly upwards from there, my current budget just doesn’t permit those kind of extravagances. Side-note: I may get a part-time job…
So, if you’re in the same position as me (financially that is), Allegrini might have the perfect answer for Amarone-addiction you with their Palazzo Della Torre. It’s not Amarone, but around half the price it’s a comprise I can afford to make, and it provides a very clear benchmark for most other Valpol’s to try and live up to.
- As seems to be the case with most European wineries, the Allegrini family has a good few hundred years of experience backing them, with their winemaking dating back to the 16th Century.
- Allegrini is synonymous with Valpolicella, but what makes their Palazzo Della Torre so special? One word: ripasso.
Ripasso (meaning “repassed”) is a process that involves being passed and refermented over and with dried grape skins. This intensifies the flavors, adds alcohol and increases complexity. As with all good things…it’s a pain in the arse to achieve, it takes time and it’s expensive. Therefore, around 3/4 of the wine that goes into the Palazzo is made in the “regular style,” and the rest have gone through the “ripasso method”.
- Even considering the long history of Allegrini, wines made in the ripasso method have only actually been around since the 1980’s.
- Click here for the Allegrini website…you might want to brush up on your Italian though…
- For such a large scale winery (900,000+ bottles), it might come as a surprise to learn that Allegrini actually don’t buy any of their grapes. Everything comes from their own Estate vineyards.
- Wines from Valpolicella have always been highly regarded, even dating back to the ancient Greeks. As the Roman poet Virgil once wrote: Bacchus amat colles (Bacchus loves hills), this referencing the rolling hills which dominate the region.
- The name Valpolicella is believed to translate to “valley of many cellars” after…….that’s right boys and girls…..all the wine cellars that are scattered throughout the region!
However, some people maintain that Latin inscriptions talk of the “Vallis pulicellae”, literally the “valley of sand deposits”.
I prefer the first one…
This is the kind of wine that needs at least an hour in the decanter (or some serious aerating) before serving. The Palazzo delle Torre showed bags of black cherry, intense blackberry, dark chocolate, well-worn leather, anise and a slight nutmeg and cinnamon spicy character. Beautifully balanced and well-rounded. This “baby Amarone” should be on more restaurant wine lists.
Ideally served in a random Trattoria along the banks of one of Venice’s many canals…but I’ll leave the location up to you…. so pair with roast meats, steak, sausage, red sauce pasta, veal, charcuterie, eggplant, truffles and mushrooms will suffice…