Often times makers of wines from classic, old world regions create wine in a style that demands aging in order for it to not only appreciate full potential, but in many cases to be even remotely drinkable. Because of advancements in both farming and wine making, today, creating making a wine that is both age-worthy yet approachable and enjoyable to drink at a young age is a possibility. Staunch traditionalists sometimes decry these modern styles as varying too far from the style of wine that a specific region is known for. But thank goodness for forward thinking producers like the brothers Castagnedi of Tenuta Sant’Antonio. These four siblings come from generations of grape growers, yet, have only been making wine for the past few decades. Today, they are making some delicious wines from Valpolicella. Like may producers of the region they produce Valpolicella, Ripasso, and Amarone. Their Amarones are made in the modern style which drink well now, yet will age and improve for decades to come. I sat down with Armando Castagnedi to talk about the complex nature of wine making in Valpolicella, and what makes their modern approach to Amarone so special.
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Armando Castagnedi with John Lenart
2015 Tenuta Sant’Antonio, Monti Garbi, Valpolicella Superiore, Ripasso
Aromas of violets, red cherry, a touch of fresh herbs, black pepper and a bit vegetables. On the palate this wine shows a wonderful balance of fresh red berries, nice acidity, herbs, black pepper moderate tannins and a spicy finish.
2013 Tenuta Sant’Antonio,Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG Selezione Antonio Castagnedi
Aromas of dried red fruits, leather, and hints of red roses. Great silky texture. Fine integrated tannins, moderate fresh acidity. Flavors of plum, licorice, espresso and hints of tobacco. Quite drinkable now but will age gracefully for a decade or more. Great to pair with food.
2013 Tenuta Sant’Antonio,Amarone Della Valpolicella DOCG Campo dei Gigli
Complex and elegant nose of mixed dark berries, cedar, and coffee notes. On the palate bold flavors of dried currants, dried mixed berries, fresh herbs, cocoa and cinnamon are balanced by balsamic notes and fine tannins. Wonderful velvety texture.