Valpolicella Classico Cesari
Grapes: Corvina, Rondinella
Produced in the foothills of the Alps, just west of Verona, in an area sandwiched between the mountains and Lake Garda. The grapes used are Corvina Veronese (40-70%), Rondinella (20-40%) and Molinara (5-20%). The vintner can also add up to 15% complementary varieties, which include Rossignola, Negrara, Trentina, Barbera and Sangiovese. As a general characteristic the wines tend to have lively to powerful bouquets, be full on the palate with good fruit, velvety, and have a pleasing aftertaste. They also tend to be less tannic than the wines from Tuscany or Piemonte.
- Valpolicella Classico is a light quaffing wine, generally fermented in steel, kept in tanks, and then bottled in the spring, to be drunk on a daily basis. It tends to have a lively bouquet with floral notes and hints of cherry or berry fruits – this is definitely an aromatic wine. On the palate it is light, fruity, and with a pleasant touch of acidity that leaves a clean finish. Not much in the way of tannins. Should be served with first courses — pasta with meat-based sauces and soups, or vegetable-based entrees.
- Valpolicella Classico Superiore is a very different animal from the above. Though made from the same grapes it is aged in wood for at least a year; it emerges more structured and interesting, and in some cases reaches great heights. The wood can be either large botti, or smaller barriques, which some producers use to add tannins to the wine. There is a certain amount of controversy regarding this point, because Valpolicella has a distinctive floral-fruity bouquet that is in part overshadowed by the vanilla notes surrendered by barriques. Therefore the more traditional wineries won’t use them. Instead, to add tannins to the wine they pass it over the skins and seeds left over from the fermentation of Reicioto (more on that below). The tannins gained are light and tend to be well rounded, while the skins surrender more aromatics to the bouquet, and add intriguing complexities to the wine on the palate. This technique, which is unique to Valpolicella, is called Ripassa, and can give wondrous results. Though Valpolicella Classico Superiore can be drunk throughout the meal, it will go best with more involved entrees, for example roasts or stews.
Founded in 1936, Gerardo Cesari soon became synonymous worldwide with wines from the Verona area.
Back in the early Seventies, Cesari Amarone was one of the first to reach all five continents thanks to the enthusiasm and initiative of Franco Cesari, son of the founder Gerardo, whose original vision was to produce a great Amarone, capable of competing with the best Italian and international red wines. So began the success story of Cesari wines all over the world.