This Amarone is deep and intense on the nose with aromas of dried cherries, plums, spiced autumn fruit compote and chocolate. On the palate, it is powerful with a lovely balance of ripe, silky tannins and a spiced, concentrated savoury cherry fruit character. A touch of woodsmoke completes the long finish.
Alpha Zeta was started in 1999 when Liberty Wines, working with leading New Zealand winemaker Matt Thomson, set out to produce a range of modern, fruit driven wines from the hills outside Verona. Our aim was to work with growers (rather than buy bulk wine, which is standard among most wines from Verona at this price) to obtain ripe grapes (by reducing yields and picking later) and then, using Matt's expertise, preserve these flavours in the finished wines. The result is a realisation of the potential inherent in Veronese viniculture.
The vineyards are situated at 100-400 metres above sea level in the hills outside Verona, in the Valpantena Valley, on south/south-east facing slopes. Cool breezes blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen and helping them to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the vines are put under stress and produce superior quality fruit. The vines are 20-30 years old on average and are trained using both the traditional Pergola Veronese and Guyot systems.
Vintage 2020 started with a cool and wet spring, which allowed a good flowering. Summer was not too warm. There were two cases of hail at the beginning of harvest but luckily, most of the vines were unaffected. At harvest grapes were at a perfect level of ripening, with a great colour. The production was on average in terms of quantity.
Selected grapes were hand harvested in mid-September and left to dry in specially ventilated rooms until the end of January. During this time the grapes lost about 40% of their natural weight. The grapes were destemmed and crushed at the end of January. Fermentation temperature was between 18-20°C with daily periodic pumping over, while the length of maceration was 20 days. This Amarone was matured in French oak barriques for 18 months and transferred into concrete tanks for final filtration before bottling.
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