I met Pierangelo Tommasi a few years ago and he told me about how his family’s winery, the Tommasi Family Estates, is a true family affair. They have wineries in several regions of Italy, as well as in other countries. I wrote about our meeting previously: https://charlesscicolone.wordpress.com/2015/04/16/tommasi-la-forza-della-famigila/
Recently, I met Pierangelo again. The occasion was a Master Class on his family’s Amarone.
The winery is situated in Pedemonte in the heart of the Valpolicella Classical Zone about a half hour from Lake Garda in the Veneto Region of Italy. There are 195 hectares of vines on the estate.
I have always enjoyed the Tommasi wines and was looking forward to the tasting.
We tasted the Amarone della Valpolicella Classico DOCG 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2000 and 1995.
All of the grapes for these wines come from the La Groletta and Conca d’Oro Vineyards made from 50% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 13% Rondinella and 3% Oseleta.
Pierangelo discussed each of the vintages. The harvest for the 2012 began on September 10. The residual sugar is 4.87g/l and the alcohol is 15.48.
He said that this will become a great wine with aging potential and will become more powerful over time.
Molinara is no longer mandated for Amarone but it can be used in the blend if the producer chooses to do so. Tommasi now uses Oseleta (it has intense fruit and spice aromas with good structure) instead of Molinara
2009 Made from 50% Corvina, 20% Corvinone, 25% Rondinella and 5% Molinara. The wine is aged for 3 years in large Slavonian oak barrels. Residual sugar is 8g/l and the alcohol is 15.50
Pierangelo said he liked the 2009 better than the 2008. He feels the 2009 is more complex and more approachable.
2008 made from 50% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella and 5% Molinara. The wine is aged for 3 years in large Slavonian oak barrels. Residual sugar 7g/l and alcohol 15.5%. Pierangelo has tasted this wine over the years and said it is a very consistent wine but at this point he is not sure that it will get better with age. He said the in some ways 2008 and 2009 were similar vintages but 2008 had a shorter summer in terms of sunlight not temperature.
2007 made from 50% Corvina 10% Corivnone 30% Rondinella and 10% Molinara. Harvest began on September 10. Residual sugar 7.2g/l and alcohol is 15.5
The wine was aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for 4 years. Pierangelo said that 2007 has not peaked yet and will get better with age.
2000 made from 50% Corvina, 15% Corvinone, 30% Rondinella and 5%Molinara. Harvest begins on September 10th. The wine is aged in large Slavonian oak barrels for 3 years. Residual Sugar 7g/l, alcohol 15%
For me this is the wine to buy because it is drinking now but will last for a number of years.
1995 made from 50% Corvina 10% Corvinone 10%, Rondinella 30% and Molinara 10% Harvest began on the 18th of September. The wine was aged is large Slavonian oak barrels for 4 years. Pierangelo said this was a great vintage and the harvest took place under perfect conditions. For me this wine was at it peak but will last for a few more years. I drank it all.
Then we tasted the Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Riserva “Ca’ Florian” Riserva DOCG 2009, 2008, 2007and 2003.
All of the grapes come from the Ca’ Florian vineyard and are all aged for one year in used tonneau (500 liters), 3 years in large Slavonian oak casks and one year in bottle before release.
All of the grapes for the Amarone dry for over 100 days from the harvest. Because the grapes have very thick skins, especially the Corvina, Corvinone and Rondinella, they can undergo the long drying process (appassimento).
The Ca’Florian vineyard has always been owned by the Tommasi family and is one of the most historic vineyards. The training system here is the traditional Pergola Veronese.
Pierangelo said that Tommasi makes classic, traditional Amarone. The wines are distinguished by the flavor of cherries. They use traditional large Slavonian oak because they do not release any “flavors” into the wine. Amarone does not need aggressive oak from barriques.
The grapes are picked when they are ripe. He said they do not want late harvest grapes or noble rot and are trying to keep the alcohol under 16%.
2009 The harvest began on September 12th. Residual sugar 4g/l and alcohol 12.50%.
2008 Harvest began on September 25.
2007 harvest began on September 10.
2003 had 70% Corvina, 25% Rondinella and 5% Molinara The wine is aged in Slavonian oak barrels 35 HL for 30 months and in 6 months on used tonneau
These were more structured wines than the regular Amarone and will need more time. My favorite was the 2007.
Pierangelo pointed out that 2003 was not a good vintage, it was cold with a lot of rain. It will not last much longer but I found it was drinking very nicely now.
For more detailed information on Tommasi Amarone, please go to https://charlesscicolone.wordpress.com/2014/06/03/visiting-the-tommasi-winery/