~ Villa Sartori in Verona ~

High in the hills above the town of Verona Italy, in the province of the Veneto, stands Villa Sartori.  The history here spans centuries – a passage of time that has seen Sartori accumulate some of the best vineyard holdings in this northern Italian province.  Started by Patriarch Pietro Sartori in 1898, the estate is now under the direction of his great grandson Andrea Sartori.   

Despite the estate’s rich history, perhaps the most recent defining change came in 2003 when Andrea hired the noted consultant, Franco Bernabei to oversee the winemaking. Bernabei, of Tuscan fame, is noted primarily with his work at Fontodi and Felsina – two impressive notches in his consulting belt. The subject of today’s article is one of Bernabei’s prized wines – the Cru Amarone “Corte Bra”. 

The 2006 Sartori Corte Bra is a deep, rich purple color.  It’s inky in the glass, with long viscous legs after swirling.  I typically do not spend much attention to the “legs” of a wine. It’s somewhat of a fallacy that neophytes ascribe to when in actuality, it means little.  But for some reason, these caught my attention with their slow, snail like descent back to the bowl of the glass.  The wine is explosive on the nose with classic rich aromas of plums, Christmas cake, blackberry jam, cinnamon toast and a slight raisiny character.  On the palate, the wine is elegant – medium to full bodied and not an outright bruiser.  It’s got rich plummy flavors accented with blackberry liquor, trace notes of dried nuts, figs, and a hint of licorice.   Corte Bra spends 4 years aging in various size oak barrels and then at least 6 months in bottle before release.  At this point, the oak is very well integrated and leaves no lasting impression on the taster.  Wonderful wine with roasted chicken with a pancetta stuffing.  Also great on it’s own with a bite or two of aged Pecorino from Pienza.  

The 2006 is a blend of 50% Corvina, 30% Corvinone, 15% Rondinella and 5% Oseleta and prior to pressing, the grapes are air dried for up to 4 months in the traditional Amarone style.  This is really well done.  93 points, about $45.  Disclosure: This bottle was an importer provided sample.
~ The 2006 Amarone Corte Bra ~


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