Allegrini 2024

Amarone della Valpolicella and its longevity, told by Tedeschi’s (now open) archives

A collection of 27,000 bottles of old vintages from the past 50 years, open to the public of collectors, haute cuisine and enthusiasts

Amarone della Valpolicella is recognized among the most important and famous red wines in Italy. Behind it is a shorter history than those of Barolo and Brunello di Montalcino, but one of great notoriety. A notoriety that has grown since the Nineties of the twentieth century, in part thanks to the profile conferred by drying, when it met the taste even of those who did not easily approach other, more “austere” red wines. Production has grown, exports as well, but it seems that the great Veronese red has not yet gained the fame it deserves as a long-lived wine. There are several reasons for this, starting with the different styles and a rather wide offer in various price ranges to which, made the tare of the brand value, frequently corresponds to a more or less excellent quality. And perhaps because of such a varied offer Amarone is one of those wines for which the brand weighs heavily. And even when this weight is there, wineries must commit to working to make its ageing capabilities known and appreciated, which hold great surprises, provided they have historicity and well-preserved bottles in the cellar. This is the case of Tedeschi, the winery in Pedemonte (Verona), which has decided to open its historical archives and enhance “a heritage that is cultural, as well as economic”, as Sabrina Tedeschi, who, with her sister Antonietta and brother Riccardo, governs it, always under the watchful eye of her father Lorenzo, who has been “watching” for a few years with the experience of his 91 years and many vintages.
The archive guards fifty years of the history of Amarone della Valpolicella and therefore also of its “evolution”, as demonstrated by the tasting - attended by WineNews - with which the Tedeschi family inaugurated the “historical archive”: 15 labels from the 2017 vintage backwards, decade by decade, to 1974. A roundup that revealed a surprising longevity that belies the opinion of some overseas who attribute only ten years of life to Amarone.
“Longevity is also the result of the “classic” style we have always adopted for our Amarones”, explained Riccardo Tedeschi, oenologist in charge of the vineyard and winery, “with high acidity and low residual sugar, experimenting with different drying techniques to limit the impact of the method on the wine’s profile as much as possible. And we were right to be true to our style, as the appellation has taken this path”. The glass test showed that as the years go by, these Amarones are getting finer and more elegant. Evidence that needs to be communicated. “With the vintages in the archives”, said Sabrina Tedeschi, “we want to reach out to the restaurant industry, primarily in Italy, where there is a lack of old vintages: the supply of verticals is a rarity. Abroad there is a greater sensitivity. Particularly in Japan and Germany and even in Mexico City they are looking for old vintages and some importers are asking us for en primeur sales”. But “something is also moving in Italy, in the Milanese restaurant scene”, added Antonietta Tedeschi, “and the archive, which is open to tasting routes, was born from the desire to create a place that offers a different point of view on our Amarone”. The archive has 27,000 bottles of old vintages, of which 6,800 are housed in a room in which the light metal frames on which they rest in rows - divided by vintage and labels of the different crus - are artfully lit to create a cosy atmosphere, suitable for tasting the vintages of the 2000s, also available for sale. An organoleptic repository is now open to the public of collectors, haute cuisine operators and enthusiasts.

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