Thursday, October 26, 2006

More Hunting in Italy - Make mine a Valpol

Nicolis – Valpolicella (Lit: Valley of many cellars!)

After getting to know the back roads of Valpolicella we arrived at the family owned Nicolis winery in the heart of the Classico appellation. The winery has always had a strong reputation for high quality wines and today that tradition is being carried on by the three sons of Angelo Nicolis. Each son specialises in one of the 3 key fields (viticulture, vinification and commercial) and true to Italian form their activities are supervised by Mamma Natalia.

We were welcomed by a sparklingly enthusiastic Alexandra who guided us through the winery and made us feel a lot more knowledgeable about the hierarchy of Valpolicella wines.
It was also very interesting to see the grapes that had been picked the day before, now resting in shallow crates and beginning their 3 month dry out period in well ventilated “chill-out” rooms – destination Amarone.

Over lunch we tasted our way through the hierarchy and at every level the Nicolis boys are doing very well indeed. In particular the Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2004 sang out. It showed concentration, depth, smoothness and above all balance. The camp was divided over which was top of pops: was it the brooding Amarone Classico, the luscious Recioto (made from same grapes but with a drop of noble rot settling in) or the unconventional yet gutsy Testal (using more than 80 % Corvina therefore de-classified). However we were all bowled over by the Amarone Classico Ambrosan; mouthwatering, dense, perfumed and utterly butterly. Alexandra then revealed that at a recent Amarone Classico competition (32 wines entered) only 3 wines received 5 stars. The first two were super-duper £150 plus wines and the third was our very own Nicolis Amarone Classico Ambrosan at a remarkable £80 on a wine list! At this stage you can forgive us for being in high spirits; even the sparklingly enthusiastic Alexandra couldn’t resist the infectious joviality of AR (Photo) but alas it was time to move on.


At 7:40 AM, Blogger Matthew said...

utterly butterly...i think this has just become my new favorite wine description! well done.


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