Today’s Story: Tenuta Santa Maria
Tenuta Santa Maria was established by the Bertani Family, a family with deep roots in the Valpolicella region of Veneto. Documents place the family in Valpolicella as early as the mid-1500s, though it was brothers Gaetano and Giovan Battista Bertani during the mid to late 1800s who ventured to create a new standard for their family’s wines. After being exiled to France, Gaetano Bertani returned and brought back an appreciation for the Guyot Method and the brothers practiced it when planting their vineyards with high vine density to reduce yields and create more concentrated fruit. Though Santa Maria follows traditional winemaking methods for the Veneto region passed down through generations of vintners, they also appreciate technological advancement and utilize modern techniques to produce the highest quality wines possible. Today Tenuta Santa Maria is guided by Gaetano Bertani, the great-grandson of founding brother Gaetano, and his sons with utmost respect for their history and fact that they are one of the oldest Italian winemaking families still in operation.
Today’s Wine: 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva
75% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella; 16% ABV
The 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Riserva is medium to deep garnet with ruby hues. I decanted this for around 3 hours which greatly helped the wine blossom, however right out of the bottle this was a beauty. On the nose, I get aromas of cherry liqueur, sweet plum, fig, anise, purple florals, dried leather, crushed rock, cinnamon, and spice. Once in the mouth, this wine displays notes of sweet cherry, boysenberry, prune, licorice, dried rose, tobacco, dried rocky earth, brown sugar, nutmeg, and chocolate. This is medium- to full-bodied with medium (+) acidity, velvety medium tannins, and a long finish. It’s amazing how incredibly well-balanced this wine is, particularly given the 16% ABV which you would never guess.
Price: $74. Great QPR on this bottle, especially when compared to Quintarelli or Dal Forno Amarone that sells for $300+ (and more for the Riservas). Now I’m not saying this is the same calibre as Quintarelli or Dal Forno, but its elegance, balance, and quality are enough to make me think of them. Pair this with Wagyu filet mignon, wild boar, or parmigiano reggiano.