Serego Alighieri Vaio Armaron Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2013
Perfect with red meat, game, quails, roasts and full-flavored dishes. Excellent match for mature cheeses with bite, such as Parmesan or Pecorino.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Aged in cherrywood casks, Corvina, Rondinella, and the Serego Alighieri clone of Molinara are classic Amarone varieties. Earthy and spiced with both fresh and dark chocolate–covered cherry, this upright and regal wine offers additional notes of dates and plum liqueur; armed with elegance and strength of character, it shows a whitepeppered depth.
Aged in cherrywood casks, Corvina, Rondinella, and the Serego Alighieri clone of Molinara are classic Amarone varieties. Earthy and spiced with both fresh and dark chocolate–covered cherry, this upright and regal wine offers additional notes of dates and plum liqueur; armed with elegance and strength of character, it shows a white-peppered depth
From a historic estate that was a residence of the family of Italy's language and literary genius Dante Alighieri, the Masi Serego Alighieri 2013 Amarone della Valpolicella Classico Vaio Armaron is a generous and hearty wine. The bouquet is quite opulent, although there is a note of worn leather or cured meat that you notice straight off. This points to the more evolved state of this cooler vintage with fruit picked eight years ago. Those warm savory tones segue to baked fruit and dried blackberry. The wine finishes long with hints of sweetness and smoky spice. The overall effect is one of intensity and boldness. The wine is great now, but I'm concerned that those leathery and animal notes could worsen with time. I have shortened the drinking window as a result.
In 1549 when the Alighieri family found itself with only female heirs, they married into the powerful imperial Serego family, resulting in the Serego Alighieri name which the family has carried on ever since. In the forward-thinking spirit of the family, Marcantonio Serego was an enthusiastic proponent of agricultural reform, land reclamation, and of increasing the productiveness of his estates in the 16th century. Continuing the development of the estate in the 18th century, careful crop cultivation was initiated with the identification of specific sites for growing grape varieties. Later, in the 1920’s, Pieralvise Serego Alighieri founded the School of Agriculture in Gargagnago with the goal of replanting local native grape varieties, furthering their dedication to the land.
Most recently, in 1973, Tenuta Serego Alighieri joined the Masi Group, with whom they share a great love for the land. The Masi Technical Group, under the leadership of Raffaele Boscaini, substitutes the figure of the winemaker with that of a team of experts including oenologists, agronomists, marketing experts, chemists, and food product technicians. The group also carries out research and experimentation in collaboration with universities and other institutions, ultimately contributing to the innovation of wines throughout the Venetian regions. Today, the property where 21 of Dante’s descendants have lived generation after generation, is a landmark site for viticulture and the embodiment of the true spirit of Valpolicella.
Among the ranks of Italy’s quintessential red wines, Valpolicella literally translates to the “valley of cellars” and is composed of a series of valleys (named Fumane, Marano and Negrare) that start in the pre-alpine Lissini Mountains and end in the southern plains of the Veneto. Here vineyards adorn the valley hillsides, rising up to just over 1,300 feet.
The classification of its red wines makes this appellation unique. Whereas most Italian regions claim the wines from one or two grapes as superior, or specific vineyards or communes most admirable, Valpolicella ranks the caliber of its red wines based on delimited production methods, and every tier uses the same basic blending grapes.
Corvina holds the most esteem among varieties here and provides the backbone of the best reds of Valpolicella. Also typical in the blends, in lesser quantities, are Rondinella, Molinara, Oseleta, Croatina, Corvinone and a few other minor red varieties.
Valpolicella Classico, the simplest category, is where the region’s top values are found and resembles in style light and fruity Beaujolais. The next tier of reds, called Valpolicella Superiore, represents a darker and more serious and concentrated expression of Valpolicella, capable of pairing with red meat, roast poultry and hard cheeses.
Most prestigious in Valpolicella are the dry red, Amarone della Valpolicella, and its sweet counterpart, Recioto della Valpolicella. Both are created from harvested grapes left to dry for three to five months before going to press, resulting in intensely rich, lush, cerebral and cellar-worthy wines.
Falling in between Valpolicella Superiore and Amarone is a style called Valpolicella Ripasso, which has become immensely popular only since the turn of the century. Ripasso literally means “repassed” and is made by macerating fresh Valpolicella on the pressed grape skins of Amarone. As a result, a Ripasso will have more depth and complexity compared to a regular Superiore but is more approachable than an Amarone.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines.
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.