I'm not sure I've heard a better description for a wine. A wine perfect for sitting quietly, contemplating inner peace and seeking a higher understanding. That's the kind of wine I want to drink. And the other night, I was able to do just that. Along with eleven other people, I was invited to drink this wine alongside a great meal. The wines being showcased that night:
- 2012 Cesari Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
- 2007 Cesari Amarone Bosan
- 1997 Cesari Amarone Bosan
Traditionally the grapes are harvested and then dried on large straw mats in well-ventilated barns. The process has been updated a bit, producing a cleaner, more correct wine that has less chance of develop mold or rot, but the general concept is the same. Pick the grapes, let some water evaporate out and then continue with the winemaking process. Allowing water to evaporate concentrates flavors (because there's less water diluting them) and also decreases the weight (again because there's less water). That means that it takes even more grapes to make the same amount of Amarone wine. This whole process that is a bit more labor intensive and requires more raw material does increase the cost of the wine a bit; but you can still find some great examples under $50.
In fact, the 1997 was one of the youngest old wines I've ever tasted. Despite being almost twenty years old, this wine was fresh and vibrant, with almost no signs of age. There were plenty of red fruit notes: strawberry, cherry, even a little cranberry, and lots of good acidity. Some of that could come from the fact that the Bosan vineyard has a lot of volcanic soil, something that I think tends to make wines that are incredibly long-lasting (like some of the great wines of Alsace). I could see this wine still being good in another five or maybe even ten years. At the very least, it is without a doubt a wine that would aid in meditation.