The Allegrini family estate covers 120 hectares of vineyard in the heart of the Valpolicella Classico area. The family has been growing grapes here for six generations, but the estate in its current form was founded by Giovanni Allegrini. When he passed away in 1983, it passed to his three children, who ran it together until Walter's death in July 2003. Franco now looks after the vineyards and is the winemaker, and Marilisa is director of marketing.
Amarone is the result of Allegrini's skill in creating a modern wine with a strong connection to tradition. Sourced from Classico area hillside vineyards, grapes are dried for a rich, powerful wine with characteristic dried cherry aromas and a tremendous structure.
The Allegrini family's south-east facing vineyards are located in the Valpolicella Classico hills at 180-280 metres above sea level. The varied soils are mostly chalk and clay and are well-drained. The older vines are 30 years old on average, pergola trentina-trained, with about 3,000 vines per hectare. Newer vines are single Guyot trained with about 5,000 vines per hectare.
The vintage was characterised by fairly high temperatures and healthy grapes that were perfectly intact at harvest time. The ripening phase required two emergency irrigations in the upper hillside vineyards and also benefitted from the timely rainfall of 20th August, which helped maintain the physiological balance of the vines, resulting in the complete aromatic and phenolic ripening of the grapes. The absence of rain, except on two days, during the harvest period meant that work was carried out easily and almost without interruption. The forecast is that vintage 2015 wines will be complex and long-lived, characterised by slightly above average alcohol content and a good balance between acidity and extract.
The grapes were dried at 'Terre di Fumane', a state of the art drying centre with controlled temperature and humidity. Under these conditions, the development of botrytis was avoided and the integrity of the fruit preserved. During the drying period, the grapes lost 40-45% of their original weight. Vinification took place in the first two weeks of January. The dried grapes were de-stemmed, crushed and fermented in stainless steel tanks at temperatures between 8-22ºC. Maceration lasted 25 days, with daily pumping over. The wine was racked into 100% new oak barriques (225 litres) in March for 18 months. After blending, it spent seven months in 8,700 litre oak casks, and 14 months in bottle.
A classic of the appellation with both tradition and a sense of place. With intense aromas of ripe, dark fruit and spice, it has an imposing structure and depth, superb balance with refined tannins and a long, spiced finish.