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Speri Sant'Urbano Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2007

Other Red Blends from Veneto, Italy
  • ST91
  • WS91
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Winemaker Notes

Deep ruby nectar, rich bouquet of spice & ripe red fruit.

Critical Acclaim

ST 91
International Wine Cellar

Deep ruby. Aromas of black cherry, smoked beef and camphor are enlivened by a grapey note. Then smooth, suave and long, with dark fruit and herb flavors carrying through a multilayered, complex finish. The mounting tannins call for food, though, and leave an impression of austerity.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

With a smoky undercurrent and flavors of fig compote, grilled plum and black currant preserves, this red is balanced and expressive. Integrates fine-grained tannins and intriguing accents of bresaola, violet, ground anise and white pepper notes. Mouthwatering finish. Drink now through 2022.

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Speri
Speri, , Italy
Speri
The grapes not only form the basis for a good wine: they give it its essence, its soul, its personality. They adapt themselves to the rhythms of nature, they make themselves at home in the land in which they grow and allow themselves to be guided by the hands of the vigneron. Cultivating the land is an ancient occupation, tinged with tradition and the aura of times past. The Speris began working as vine growers in Valpolicella seven generations ago. Times change but the old values endure, as does the Speris’ pride in being part of an extraordinary area like the Valpolicella classica zone and the moral duty they feel to express its characteristics in their company’s wines. One of the historical families in Valpolicella, Speri is an important and faithful exponent of the wines of the Valpolicella Classica zone and has also become, thanks to the firm’s consistency and its intimate links with its area of origin, an authoritative point of reference within the Italian wine scene.

A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and pink wines...

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A long and narrow valley producing flavorful red, white, and pink wines, the Rhône is bisected by the river of the same name and split into two distinct sub-regions—north and south. While a handful of grape varieties span the entire length of the valley, there are significant differences between the two zones in climate and geography as well as the style and quantity of wines produced. The Northern Rhône, with its continental climate and steep hillside vineyards, is responsible for a mere 5% or less of the greater region’s total output. The Southern Rhône has a much more Mediterranean climate, the aggressive, chilly Mistral wind, and plentiful fragrant wild herbs known collectively as ‘garrigue.’

In the Northern Rhône, the only permitted red variety is Syrah. In the appellations of St.-Joseph, Hermitage, Cornas, and Côte-Rôtie (where up to 20% Viognier may be co-fermented), it produces savory, peppery wines with telltale notes of olive, bacon fat, and smoke. Oily, perfumed whites are made from Viognier in Condrieu and Château-Grillet, while elsewhere only Marsanne and Roussanne are used, with the former providing body and texture and the latter lending nervy acidity. The wines of the Southern Rhône are typically blends, with the reds often based on Grenache and balanced by Syrah, Mourvèdre, and an assortment of other varieties. All three northern white varieties are used here, as well as Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourbelenc, and more. The best known sub-regions of the Southern Rhône are the reliable, wallet-friendly Côtes du Rhône and the esteemed Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Others include Gigondas, Vacqueyras, and rosé-only appellation Tavel.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice...

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

ALL7354040_2007 Item# 116697

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