Amarone vintage 2012, what will be like?
Where there is wine, there will always be Verona, as the popular saying goes. As we know, these sayings are usually right. Verona is certainly not at risk of extinction, considering the great influx of journalists, professionals from the sector and the public (a total of 3 thousand people) present at the thirteenth preview of the great wine from the Veneto: Amarone. Inside the Gran Guardia Palace, beside works of art by Van Gogh, 76 Amarone wines were on display from the 2012 vintage in preview.
A turnover of 315 million euros
At the opening of the event, Andrea Scanzi, journalist from Il Fatto Quotidiano and writer, chaired the discussion on the Amarone brand. Also taking part were Christian Marchesini, president of the Consortium for the Protection of Valpolicella wines, Diego Tomasi from the CRA-VIT viticulture research centre and Denis Pantini, from Nomisma, the latter spoke about the positioning of Amarone on an international level. In 2015 the turnover of the designation reached 315 million euros, calculating that one bottle out of six is destined to go abroad where the brand is becoming more and more established; a growing market to keep an eye on is Canada.
Amarone 2012, a difficult vintage
The 2012 seasonal trend consisted of a wet spring followed by a scorching summer, though the situation returned to normal in September. According to Tomasi, 2012 should be considered a difficult, but fundamental vintage, because it marks the strong change in climate that has taken place in recent years. The abnormal situation is putting vinegrowers more and more to the test and they are finding that they have to establish the quality of an entire vintage during the last grape ripening stage. Tomasi also claims that this will be the trend for the next vintages, too.
Amarone trend. The gap between future and tradition
“Unique and recognisable, Amarone is an iconic and seductive wine,” claims Christian Marchesini, “fruit of a land, Valpolicella, where 97% of grape varieties have remained native ones.” In recent years, the rediscovery of varieties such as Oseleta and the return of the pergola training system to the detriment of Guyot, has been widening the gap between modernity and tradition, between the different styles and philosophies of the wineries, differences that are also found in the wines submitted for preview. There are Amarone wines that are basically ready, plush, fruity and high in alcohol, though sometimes not supported by an adequate structure because of the difficulties of the vintage. The best ones have managed to translate this initial fault into elegance and polish.
Illustrious absences among the producers
In general, many producers cannot identify with presenting such a recent vintage. “The preview is fine for those who can make an Amarone in three years,” some of them complain. Most of them have put forward a sample from 2012 taken directly from the barrel or vat, stating that the wine will be sold in 2, 3 or maybe even more years. Also missing were some of the great names from Valpolicella and the historic families of masterpiece Amarone wines; among the illustrious absentees were Allegrini, Masi, Dal Forno and Quintarelli, and there was also the discontent of other participants that declared that they would have to think carefully before taking part in future editions. Nevertheless, this is an established event that is appreciated by enthusiasts who rush to “celebrate” the king of wines from the Veneto. Where there is wine, there will always be the Amarone Preview, probably.