~ Ponte Rialto, Venezia ~
This weekend was special as my youngest son attained his independent voice in Roman Catholicism – or as he called it,  the end of CCD!  Motivations aside, it was cause for celebration and since there was a cool breeze in the air, and we grabbed a pair of 2007 Amarone to mark the occasion.  

~ Carciofi fritti:  A wonderful antipasto with a mild horse radish crema ~

First up was a wine we covered in my recent Report on Amarone
In 2006, Sartori introduced a premium collection of Veneto wines crafted by Franco Bernabei at its new winery, I Saltari which lies just east of Verona.  The winery is named after the mercenary vineyard guardians known in native dialect as “Saltari”.  During the 18th century, these sentinels were hired by vineyard owners to keep thieves from making off with their grapes.  With the legal authority to shoot the bandits on sight, the Saltari were feared defenders of the vineyards.  

The 2007 I Saltari Amarone “Vigne Turano” is a single vineyard creation that is a dark plum, ruby color with deep violet reflections.  Warmed, juicy cherries mix with spicy plums and baking notes on the nose and palate where Christmas pudding, nuts, cinnamon, clove and crushed cherries join the package. This has wonderful complexity, length and balance and is quite delicious.  Leans a bit toward the medium rather than full bodied spectrum and is slightly more accessible at this young age than many similar wines. This was very well received by the group and I enjoyed it slightly more than it’s 2009 counterpart reviewed here.  93 points, about $60.

~ Amarone requires substantial food.  Short Ribs braised in rich tomato sauce over homemade egg pappardelle ~
Although it had stiff competition in the I Saltari, the next wine more than met the challenge.  Lying east of Verona,  Allegrini calls the Palazzo della Torre home.  The stable of wines from this venerable Veronese producer is excellent at almost every level and certainly true of the next wine.

The 2007 Allegrini Amarone is a dark ruby with almost blood red highlights.  The aroma is compelling with fruitcake, cinnamon, cherry cordial and toasted oak notes all identifiable.  On the palate, this plummy red wine has substantial “grip” and a large framed core of ripe fruit.  More aristocratic than the I Saltari, this could be the formers tutor in a sense.  “Someday son, you’ll get where I am.” The finish is ripe and luscious and although a more modern interpretation of the genre, it’s very, very well done.  95 points.  About $60. 

~ Bravo ~
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