Forget what you think you know about Amarone - they call this a "meditation wine", and I can see why. Lush, complex, layered, structured and pleasingly dry, this is a wine to be savoured. Hedonism in a bottle.
Founded by Giacomo Tommasi in 1902, Tommasi has grown to be the largest family-owned vineyard estate in the Valpolicella Classica, owning 105 hectares and an additional 15 hectares in the Lugana DOC. Tommasi is located in Pedemonte in the heart of the historic ‘Classico’ region, from which the best quality wines are produced. The estate is owned and managed by the fourth generation of the Tommasi family, with six family members working together in harmony. Pierangelo manages the UK market, while winemaker, Giancarlo prefers to stay close the vineyards and winery.
The vineyard known as la Groletta, in the municipality of Sant’Ambrogio, has been generally acknowledged as representing the epitome of the Valpolicella Classico zone. Extended hours of sunlight and the cool, gentle breeze from Lake Garda provide a particularly favourable microclimate, and one that is unique in Valpolicella. The soil composition reinforces that area’s characteristic aromas of ripe red fruit and intense dark spices.
Area 1.9 hectares
Altitude 300 metres above sea level
Exposure South west, the vineyards face Lake Garda
Features of the soil Clay and limestone, potassium and calcium, rich in lime with low concentrations of magnesium and iron. Medium texture and an average granular content above 2 mm, pH 7-7.5. Sparse plant cover, and low in organic matter.
Vine training system Guyot: Density of seed stock per hectare: 6,500.
Average age of the vines: 20 years.
Yield per hectare 6,500 kg per hectare
The selected grapes are placed on traditional Arele, bamboo racks, and then left to dry for 110 days in a room specially equipped with a ventilation system that maintains a constant flow of air and low humidity. The grapes are pressed in January and ferment slowly for 30 days in oak vats, using exclusively indigenous yeasts. Malolactic fermentation takes place twice in the first two years of ageing in Slavonian oak barrels following the phases of the moon and the seasons. The wine then refines for 5 years in oak barrels of 15/30hl.
The hand-picked harvest of the grapes began on 5 October 2008. The clusters are placed in small 7 kg crates and are then placed to dry on bamboo racks.
Deep ruby in colour with a garnet rim. The wine has complex aromas of dark fruit, spice, black pepper, licorice and cocoa. The palate is concentrated with excellent structure and flavours of ripe and dried fruits, spice and dark chocolate. A long, dry, velvety finish.
A great “meditation wine” at the end of a meal. Its elegance and full body are best enjoyed with game, red meats and seasoned cheeses.
Valpolicella Classico, Veneto
Corvina (62%), Corvinone (25%), Rondinella (5%), Oseleta (8%)