Western Living Magazine
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The Big Boy of Italian reds should be the official wine of Father's Day.
2011 Tommasi Amarone della Valpolicella DOC $52I don’t drink that much Amarone (ah-mah-ROW-nay), chiefly because it’s expensive, but also because its heft and richness make it a special-occasion wine. Like Father’s Day special occasion.Part of the reason it’s good gift wine is that because of the significant time and labour that go into the wine (I won’t get nerdy here, but it involves picking the grapes and drying them on mats in the sun to concentrate their flavours) there is no such thing as an inexpensive Amarone. I’ve seen Barolos at Trader Joes in the U.S. that were $15 and there are hundreds of Bordeaux chateaux that crank out affordable wine, but I’ve never seen a bottle of Amarone for less than $35—and I’d run from it if I ever did. Giving somebody a bottle of Amarone says—in the classiest way possible—you mean at least $50 to me. The funny thing is that I don’t appreciate Amarone’s that are significantly more than $50, as they often just get richer and bigger and those are two traits that a ‘normal’ Amarone has in spades already.This bottle by Tommasi hits the perfect sweet spot.It’s just so damn delicious and while it has layers of richness, there’s a great length and depth, all dried cherries and violets. It’s big, but it’s never cloying. I have every confidence that your Pop could cellar this bottle for a decade (Amarone is up there with Vintage Port for it’s ability to age well in even adverse conditions), but it’s a treat right now.