An Amarone Legend
October 25, 2018 at 7 PM
if you don't want the whole story, skip to the menu and reservations below
We are over-the-moon thrilled to welcome one of the most important Italian wine families to Stage Left in October. Here is a story of love, loss and redemption. Amarone kicks um...I mean Amarone is unlike any other wine. The best grapes (primarily corvino) are raisinated on mats and then crushed to produce Amarone, a concentrated dry wine like no other. The Valpolicella is made from non-dried grapes and the Ripasso is a Valpolicella that rests in an Amarone barrel for a year, being nurtured and taught by its big brother. The Veneto is unlike any other wine-producing region in the world.
I remember when I first tasted Amarone back in 1987. It just blew me away. That was a 1976 Bertani Amarone. It was unlike anything I had ever tasted or smelled before. The nose jumped out of the glass. It was powerful. There was the hint of the raisins it was made from along with leather and orange peel and sweet spices. The texture was rich and silky. It felt like I was drinking wisdom. Thus began my love affair with Amarone and Bertani. Wines like that are what made me go into this business.
Over the years, classical, old-school Amarone became harder to come by. In this country it fell out of fashion except for a notable few cult producers. Amarone producers kept cleaning up the wine, making it less truly Amarone, and turning up the alcohol. Their response to falling out-of-fashion was to try to be come what they are not. That never works in the long run. The Bertani firm, I am sorry to say, made more and more middle-of-the-road wines. It made us sad.
In 2011, Gaetano decided to split from the commercial company that Bertani had become. He negotiated a buy-out in which he and his sons maintained three of the family’s most prized vineyard sites while selling the name Bertani to a pharmaceutical company. The transition, which started in 2013, becomes complete in 2018. Finally, Gaetano Bertani, great-grandson of founding brother Gaetano, and his sons, Giovanni and Guglielmo, are back to their core business: making great wines from the unique terroirs of the Veneto.
I was at a tasting in New York recently and before looking at the label, I commented, "My God, these taste like old-school Bertani. I haven't had a wine like this in years!" Good palate Francis <sprains his arm patting himself on the back>!
Our love has returned! I never thought I would see wines like this again. Come dine with Gaetano and some of the best wines The Veneto has produced in a generation.
Tenuta Santa Maria di
October 25, 2018 at 7 PM
Veronese ‘Pragal’ 2016
Fermented Shallot Aioli
Soave ‘Lepia’ 2017
Truffled Veal Birds with Polenta
Valpolicella Classico Superiore 2016
Valpolicella Ripasso 2015
Venison with Mushroom Ragout
(non-game lovers can sub Flat Iron Steak)
Amarone Riserva della Valpolicella
Chocolate Chip Date Cake
Vanilla Ice Cream
$149 per person plus tax and service
Reservatins@Stageleft.com or 732-828-4444