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Tenuta Sant'Antonio Amarone Selezione Antonio Castagnedi 2006
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The time was right for them to take the plunge. Armando, Paolo, Tiziano and Massimo Castagnedi decided to produce their own wine, becoming vinedressers and earning a name for themselves for their quality and professionalism. It was a real challenge. The decision to plant new vines alongside the existing vineyards and to build a new winery in the Monti Garbi area (which in dialect means "sour" or "hard", demanded courage and a keen business sense: two qualities which the Castagnedi brothers are not short on.
For more than twenty years, while many wine producers were focusing on quantity, the Castagnedi clan rewrote the rulebook, concentrating wholly on quality. Ever since it was established, Tenuta Sant'Antonio has remained faithful to certain principles: tending to the vine branch by branch, carefully handpicking the bunches, low yield per plant, keeping the grapes meticulously clean from when they are picked to when they are taken to the winery and the wine bottled, patiently waiting for the wine to mature in new wooden barrels, ageing in the bottle.
A large and diverse wine region in northeastern Italy, the Veneto is home to a vast array of different styles of wine.
The sub-region of Valpolicella (meaning “valley of cellars” in Italian) is a series of north to south valleys and is the source of Veneto’s best red wine with the same name. Valpolicella—the wine—is juicy, spicy, tart and packed full of red cherry flavors. Corvina makes up the backbone of the blend with Rondinella, Molinara, Croatina and others playing supporting roles. Recioto and Amarone follow the same blending patterns but are made from grapes left to dry for a few months before pressing, resulting in wines that are intense, full-bodied, heady and often, quite cerebral.
Soave, based on the indigenous Garganega grape, is the famous white here—made ultra popular in the 1970s at a time when quantity was more important than quality. Today one can find great values on whites from Soave, making it a perfect choice as an everyday sipper! But the more recent local, increased focus on low yields and high quality winemaking in the original Soave zone, now called Soave Classico, gives the real gems of the area. A fine Soave Classico will exhibit a round palate full of flavors such as ripe pear, apricot, or yellow peach, have smoky and exotic aromas and a sapid, fresh, mineral-driven finish.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended 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. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a 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.