75cl * Vegan * 15.0% ABV * Veneto, Italy
Alpha Zeta was created in 1999 by UK wine importer, David Gleave MW, and New Zealand winemaker, Matt Thomson with this belief in mind. They realised that the key is to marry local grape growers with impeccable winemaking. All Alpha Zeta wines are made from indigenous grape varieties grown in the hills north-east of Verona. Matt works with local Veronese grape growers in hillside vineyards to select parcels of fruit, rather than buying in bulk wine. They have worked together to reduce yields and the grapes are now picked later. In this way, they have been able to improve grape quality and obtain riper flavours.
The vineyards are situated at 100-400 metres above sea level in the hills outside Verona, in the Valpantena Valley, on south and south-east facing slopes. Cool breezes blow down the valley from the foothills of the Dolomites, which moderate the climate, enabling the grapes to ripen and helping them to retain their aromatic compounds and acidity. The soil is poor and chalky so the 20-30 year old vines are put under stress and produce superior quality fruit.
This Amarone is deep and intense on the nose with aromas of dried cherries, plums, spiced autumn fruit compote and chocolate. On the palate, it is powerful with a lovely balance of ripe, silky tannins and a spiced, concentrated savoury cherry fruit character. A touch of woodsmoke completes the long finish.