Topic of the Week 4/14/2019 - Introductory & Certified

Another perspective on Malbec from Cahors last post and some great producer mentions from  and . Well done everyone! While I was in Argentina I was surprised to hear that a number of producers from Cahors have come to source plant material from Argentina as the way it's adapted and mutated is preferable to what they have in its indigenous homeland. It makes me wonder of that material is going to prosper in such a different climate and growing season.

This week: Appassimento

What does this term refer to? Name 3 classic wines that utilize this process.

  • Appassimento refers to the process of drying grapes prior to fermentation which concentrates sugars and potential alcohol, and mouthfee, traditionally produced in the Veneto, , specifically Valpolicella, Italy. Amarone, Valpolicella Ripasso and Recito are three classic wines who utilize this process

    Since 3 is key, I will add my  3 favorite producers:

    G. Quintarelli -Amarone

    Dal Forno - Valpolicella Ripasso

    Bertrani - Recioto

  • Appassimento is an Italian technique of drying out harvested grapes prior to vinification in order to concentrate the sugar and the flavors. The resulting wines can be both sweet and dry, the latter achieving higher alcohol level in the process. While Amarone (corvina+) and Sforzato di Valtellina (nebbiolo) are examples of dry, appassimento wines, Vin Santo is a good example of a dessert wine made through this process.  

  • It's worth noting that while the Italians have a very pretty name for it, they are by no means the only ones who utilize the process! Straw wines are found in France (Jura, Alsace, Hermitage; Vin de Paille), Austria (Strohwein/Schilfwein), Croatia (Prosek), Greece and Cyprus, Slovakia, South Africa, Australia and the US!

  • Don't forget about ZIBIBBO!  It just rolls off the tongue.  Zibibbo. Zibibbo.  One of Sicily's great hidden-in-plain-view secrets.

    I guess Amarone and Vin Santo are ok too... but they're nowhere near as fun to say as ZIBIBBO.

  • One can dry the grapes through straw matts, long on-vine hang time, in a barn or greenhouse, in  an attic or a kiln or drying chamber specifically designed for this purpose.