Grape(s): 60% Corvina Veronese, 15% Corvinone, 20% Rondinella, 5% Croatina
Localization: Veneto, Italy
Tasting Notes: Here tannins are very sweet but appreciable with good length and depth. Its color is an intense ruby red; hints of cherry, red berries, plum, spice, tobacco and herbs are noticeable on the nose. It’s a very fine wine, complex, where the aromas perceived on the nose, and yet again in the mouth, become more defined, intricate and finer with time. With its great character and personality, this Amarone expresses the distinctive terroir of Roccolo Grassi vineyards, which confer inimitable notes of spices, tobacco, ripe fruit and herbs.
97 points Vinous: From the second I tilted the glass, I knew that the 2016 Amarone della Valpolicella was a total knockout. Macerated cherries are contrasted by a whiff of tangerine that gives way to vibrant rose tones and autumnal spice. This soothes with glycerol waves of spicy red fruits complemented by cinnamon, clove and dark, and dark chocolate tones. There’s a tremendous balance here with bright acids and a sexy and exotic style. This continues and finishes structured and firm yet incredibly fresh, leaving the palate stained in concentration as violet floral tones fade. There are only two grams per liter of residual sugar for all of its heady depth and concentration. You don’t need to save this riveting Amarone for the dessert course.
Notes: Roccolo Grassi is located just outside of the Classico zone in Mezzane di Sotto and was established in 1996 by Bruno Sartori. Roccolo Grassi is the name of their most important vineyard from which the family sources the fruit for their Amarone and Valpolicella. The soil is volcanic and basalt soils giving a nice blend of stony red and black clay. This location is known for its cooler mesoclimate, the result of cooling air currents coming down from the Lessini Mountains but also for a lower amount of precipitation which is balanced by the vineyard’s water-retaining soils.
The Domain: Spend just a few minutes speaking with Francesca Sartori about her family’s winery, and it becomes abundantly clear that Roccolo Grassi is committed to quality over quantity. This small estate, founded in 1996 and now run by Francesca and her brother, Marco, is comprised of two vineyards, Roccolo Grassi for red varietals and La Broia for white, totaling 14 hectares.
From these vineyards they produce singular wines reflective of their unique terroir. They produce only one wine of each type and will not produce the Amarone or Recioto in certain vintages if the fruit is not up to their demanding standards. In addition, they keep the yields low in the vineyards, hand select only the best fruit, use natural methods in the winery, and allow for extra aging time in the cellar. This attention to detail results in beautiful age-worthy wines possessing elegance, balance, and truly distinctive character.