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Amarone lovers are squirming in their seats at the prospect of loading up on Buglioni –a real-deal, molten chocolate-style Amarone that can ruin you for every other wine. Their unique vineyard provides superb, savory fruit and a complex, velvety mouthfeel. Buglioni’s secret is using Amarone’s forgotten original recipe – and aging it extra-long until the texture is pure perfection. A wine of such expressive decadence that everyone deserves this experience!
About the wine
What makes Buglioni so special? Well, among the Amarone cognoscenti, Buglioni is known for its wines of abnormal concentration. Upon tasting their mid-tier Ripasso, a famed Italian sommelier congratulated them on their excellent Amarone! When informed it was just their “half-strength” Ripasso, the somm angrily exclaimed “The wine is a liar!” He can be forgiven, because Buglioni discards a full 60% of each year’s harvest as too weak for their standards, leaving them with some of the richest wine in the world. Few producers anywhere on the globe are so demanding of their crop, and they are mailing list/restaurant only collector items. Tasters will find an array of exotic aromas and flavors in this fascinating wine and Buglioni uses all of the original, heirloom grapes from this famous appellation. Most producers prefer to keep things simple and limit themselves to just two or three – but here one can taste the full splendid power of real Amarone! This cache of ready-to-drink Buglioni was secured by making arrangements well in advance of the wine’s release.
Winemaker: Diego Bertoni
- 95-97 pts: Walter Moore, WSET Diploma, CSW
- 96 pts: Alex Casella, WSET Advanced
- 4.4/5.0: Vivino Users (361 ratings)
Grapes: 60% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 10% Rondinella, 5% Croatina, 5% Oseleta
Vineyard: Vineyards in Sant’Ambrogio, Cariano
Cooperage: 24 months in 20% new French barrique, then 12 months in bottle
About the winery
In June 1993, Alfredo Buglioni purchased an old farmhouse surrounded by vineyards and olive groves in Valpolicella Classico, northwest of Verona, Italy. After only two months in the Buglionis’ new home, and without any knowledge of how to prune, harvest or store the precious wine grapes surrounding their farmhouse, the vineyards were ready to be harvested. Initially, each vintage was a joyous event shared with friends and collaborators, but soon the Buglionis’ vision and passion allowed them to dream that they could become “real” winemakers. In 2000 — after renovating the farmhouse and its underground cellars — the Buglionis turned to the prestigious Oenology Institute of San Michele all’Adiage in Trento, Italy, to find a young enologist to join them in their new adventure as wine producers. Diego Bertoni took up the challenge and is still their enologist today.
About the vineyard
The soils in Buglioni’s vineyard are critical to the unique taste and texture of their wines. The land here is covered in dark, gravelly, soil with high clay content. The vines run deep into this fertile soil and access water far underground, keeping the vines healthy even in extreme drought. That means in top years, Buglioni’s grapes can endure intense ripening without raisinating in the heat, where other producers are forced to pick much earlier. In addition to that advantage, Buglioni’s vineyard is planted to the traditional indigenous varieties of Corvina, Corvinone, Rondinella, Molinara, Oseleta and Croatina. By incorporating these additional varieties, the Buglioni wines show additional complexity and dimension thanks to the additional color and structure contributed by such rarities as Oseleta and Croatina.
All grapes are hand-harvested late September into early October and only 40 percent of the harvested grapes are used to produce Buglioni’s wines. A portion of the grapes are carefully selected and left to dry until late January in a winery in San Pietro in Cariano; these grapes are used to produce the most full-bodied and intense wine in the Buglioni portfolio — L’Amarone.
About the winemaking
The grapes to be used in the Amarone production are harvested 1-2 weeks earlier than those for normal Valpolicella wine. During the grape harvesting, only perfectly unblemished and dry clusters are selected and placed in shallow cases in single layers. They are left to dry in selected well-aired locations, called “fruittai” where the drying process lasts until the end of January. From here, an extended fermentation on the skins slowly draws out massive extraction and depth of flavor. Then the wine is aged for over two years in varying barrels and bottle before it’s authorized for release. Whew!
95-97 points, Walter Moore, WSET Diploma, CSW
"This Buglioni is a mind blowing example of why there's no wine tasting experience quite like Amarone Della Valpolicella. Dark plummy fruit and fresh cherry blossoms mingle with Mediterranean aromas of tarragon and warm olives. The densely concentrated palate is so complex that every sip reveals a new layer. Cherry chocolate, roasted red beets and grilled Mission fig fruit evolve into tobacco, pepper and dried black olives followed by a delicious aged Sherry quality that is unique and hard to describe. The mouthfeel is velvety with mature tannins that accentuate the chocolate and tobacco components and complementing the ample fruit. The long and elegant finish is satisfyingly dry and leaves your palate craving for more. Pair with braised tomatoes and barbecued baby back pork ribs on Memorial day or sip after dinner with that Cuban cigar you've been saving."
96 points, Alex Casella, WSET Advanced
"Nearly opaque purple hue with a complex and plentiful nose that is full of tension, dark reinforcing fruits, spices, immaculate oak perception and noble terroir. On the palate, this is what Amarone is all about, nuance, sweetness to acid ratio, hedonistic qualities, fruit, spice and earth that are all well integrated. This wine is sultry with ripe cherry, ripe blackberry, kirsch, anise and all the finesse in the midpalate and finish. Pair with spicy Asian dishes, Indian curries, wild game, hearty stews and pungent cheese."