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    Modern Style Amarone from Famiglia Pasqua

    Pasqua LogoFamiglia Pasqua has been making wine in the Veneto region of Italy since 1925.? In recent years the direction of the winery has been more and more influenced by brothers Allesandro and Ricardo.? New wines which don’t necessarily follow the strict rules of winemaking in the region, with a flair for inventive names and labels, have been introduced.? At the same time, Famiglia Pasqua producers the venerable classic wines of the Veneto, and the wine we’ll review here is one of them, although in a somewhat newer style.

    All told, Famiglia Pasqua either owns or exerts control over 741 acres.? One third of that is estate owned.? They make a lot of wine, primarily in their environmentally friendly, gravity fed winery in the village of San Felice.? Pasqua wines are sold in over 60 countries world wide.

    For this review we have an Amarone della Valpolicella, which is a traditional wine made from the appassimento method, in which the grapes are harvested, and then left to dry out on mats for a considerable time prior to pressing.? This produces a rich and concentrated juice, one that can become quite jammy and raisiny when the drying is long and the wine is treated in the old, traditional ways.? Wines of very high alcohol content are fairly common.? In the newer versions of Amarone, winemakers keep the appassimento period controlled to produce a wine of somewhat lower alcohol, which preserves the brightness and balance of the grapes, still focusing on the fruit flavors at the core.? The traditional grapes used in Amarone are Corvina, Rhondinella, Molinara and Corvinone with an allowed percentage of up to 15% comprised of Barbera, Sangiovese and Negrara, only when these grapes are harvested at a yield of no more than 8 tons per hectare (about 2.5 acres) for a DOC certified wine.? As you can see, the Italian wine laws can be quite restrictive.

    As mentioned above, Famiglia Pasqua doesn’t always follow the rules.? In this case they do, but with a modern style.

    Let’s see what we have in the bottle:

    2015 Famiglia Pasqua Amarone della Valpolicella – grapes for this wine are dried for three months on straw mats, and the wine is fermented in stainless steel instead of oak.? The grapes used are Corvina, Corvinone, Rhondinella and a splash of Negrara.? It is aged in2015 pasqua amarone French oak 18-20 months, followed by another four months of conditioning in bottle.? Alcohol is a relatively modest 15%, on the low end for a traditional Amarone.? Our thoughts:

    The wine is a dark, rich, ruby red in color.? There is a big nose of red berries, with a strong cherry note.? Leather undertones, mocha (decidedly a Milk Dud note to me), a touch of menthol and some spice rounds out a nicely complex wine.? On the palate it is rich, with mostly cherry fruit, and the fruit is really the core and the star of this wine.? At first, right out of the bottle, this has a pretty aggressive entry on your mid palate, but with a little air time it smooths out and is really beautiful.? Nice length.? Fruit focused and balanced, this is a great style of Amarone.? $50

    We really like this wine.? It is a more balanced and clean, with lighter alcohol than some older, traditional style wines.? This is worth your consideration.

    A votre santé!

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