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Bertani has launched the exclusive presale of their “watershed vintage”, Amarone Classico 2013

The Valpolicella brand highlights its stylistic wine route, and a new way of selling to increase its unique “library” of old vintages

Collections become precious when they are composed of valuable pieces when they are complete and narrate their stories and journeys. When it comes to wine, we are talking about the “verticals”. In Italy, there are not many wineries that can narrate their winemaking history in depth, complete with “libraries” of their old vintages. For instance, there is Biondi Santi, the cradle of Brunello, in Montalcino, or Giacomo Conterno, the legendary Barolo, to name just two excellent examples. And, of course, Bertani, the historical name in Valpolicella and Amarone, which has a unique library containing 49 vintages of Amarone della Valpolicella Classico, covering six decades, starting from 1958, and including the most recent vintage to be put on the market, 2013. This vintage was produced in very small quantities, which is the reason that enthusiasts and collectors will be able to purchase, for the first time, at a sort of “exclusive pre-sale”, in other words, an exclusive preview sale where there will be a “privileged” part for our long-standing customers, and “by appointment” for new enthusiasts. The Angelini Wines & Estates Group opened the winery on June 1st, letting the Amarone Bertani lovers add the latest (in chronological order) precious piece of Amarone history to their collections.
The innovation is “an act of responsibility and respect towards our regular loyal customers, who, every year renew their trust in us, and who we have not been able to serve in the recent past, due to lack of product. Therefore, we will give them priority and the possibility of continuing to cultivate the small libraries, verticals that exist in the National and International food and wine world, which we are especially proud of and which we pay great attention to. A small portion will be reserved for new customers who want to know and appreciate our Amarone Classico”, Andrea Lonardi, COO of Angelini Wines & Estates, explained. This new idea is linked to a special harvest that has several distinctive characteristics, including modest quantities as well as deciding to not produce the following 2014 vintage, which will not be put on the market”, Lonardi explained, “because it was very difficult climate-wise and the wine did not reflect the sensory and quality characteristics of our Amarone. This decision confirms the honesty, professionalism and ethical approach of this brand, which has always been transparent with its admirers”.
The courageous decision to not produce Amarone Classico 2014 was made immediately after that unfortunate harvest, when Emilio Pedron was the CEO at the helm of the winery. Now, instead, following 3.471 days of waiting and working, 18 days of harvesting, 99 drying in the loft, 42 fermenting, 3.012 aging in barrels and 300 days in the bottle, and after almost ten years of dedication and patience, care and attention to detail to be able to taste a wine that does not fear time, the 2013 vintage is ready. This vintage, therefore, has now joined the other 48 vintages kept in the "Bertani Library”. Its personality is linked to “exuberance, one of the four characteristics that describe the vintages of Amarone Classico di Bertani (exuberance, elegance, refinement, delicacy). Nick Jackson, Master of Wine, former author of Beyond Flavor, former Sotheby's buyer, and a great expert in fine wines, has selected 43 of them for "The Library”, which is the story of how Bertani has maintained its unmistakable identity. Over the years, the company (founded in 1857 by Giovan Battista and Gaetano Bertani, and, since 2011, guided by Angelini) has maintained a stable character, regardless of climate, viticultural or trend changes. The work they have done and continue to do is unequalled, and highlights a precise stylistic code, to the point that, as Nick Jackson stated, “Bertani’s Amarone is not just any Amarone, it is Amarone Bertani”. In addition, the 2013 harvest is also the start of a new way of market management for the winery’s flagship product.
“Over the past few years, we have encountered, to our great pleasure, a great number of requests for our Amarone Classico; higher, in fact, than what was available”, Ettore Nicoletto, CEO of Angelini Wines & Domains, explained, “and therefore at times we have not been able to fully satisfy the quantities our loyal and historical customers have requested, who have embraced our brand, and who have put together important verticals throughout the decades. Therefore, we decided to introduce a different way of managing offers. People who “marry” the brand and promote it in Italy and around the world must be watched very carefully. This is fundamental. We don't want to create “Class A” or “Class B” customers, but we do want to reward those who have followed and valued us for decades by being more sensitive and paying more attention to them. The only way to do this is through controlling distribution as best as possible since we are dealing with a limited product. So, we decided to make a change, also brought on by the scarce 2013 harvest and the fact that we did not produce the 2014 harvest of Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Bertani, marking the beginning of a new path that will become part of the system”. It is a special initiative, which is bound to become traditional, and which was created from a special harvest, because, “2013, though it produced 30% less than the average for our Valpolicella Classico, is a “watershed” vintage. In other words, it is a historic harvest like 1964 or 1967, which for me”, Lonardi explained to WineNews, “actually traces the path of Amarone’s potential and future, because it is a taut, elegant wine, with grapes that have dried for less time than usual in the lofts, and at lower temperatures, as indeed was the practice in the past. It traces the path, and the 2022 harvest will do the same”, Lonardi said, “for an Amarone, which, to truly become a “fine wine”, must know how to remain the same but also make some changes. This means the vineyards must be suited for and dedicated to Amarone, which are different than those for Valpolicella, drying on shorter grape lofts and at lower temperatures, and becoming a wine that must be more terroir and less method”. This was the 2013 harvest, which was “characterized by temperatures and rainfall slightly above the average during the winter period. Abundant rains and low temperatures in spring caused about a 10-day delay in budding. May”, Lonardi said, “was particularly rainy, and temperatures were lower than the historical average, which delayed flowering by seven to ten days. The summer was hot and dry but there were heaven-sent rains in August then created the conditions for a truly exceptional pre-harvest period. The long-awaited changes in temperature between day and night, typical of Valpolicella, registered between the last week of August and the first ten days of September guaranteed the grapes were fully ripe from a polyphenolic and aromatic point of view”. And, according to the Master of Wine, Nick Jackson, in the glass, the Amarone Classico Bertani expresses “a fantastic nose, of great aromatic breadth and class. A highly concentrated palate with clear expressive lines - extremely intense and focused. Tannins of splendid texture and a note of cedar to dominate overall, a monumental wine that dazzles in its complexity and beauty”. “In my opinion”, Lonardi said, “it is the best comment we could have received. It is absolutely in line with our style of Amarone: fresh, light, sapid and highly drinkable. A style that does not change over time and which, on the contrary, enhances the characteristics of a unique territory, especially when interpreted to increase longevity and the pleasure of always being drinkable”.

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