First of all, let me start by congratulating Bertani Winery for being named “Winery of the year 2018” from the Doctor Wine Ultimate Guide to Italian Wine- Daniele Cernilli. I’ve been a fan of Bertani wines for a couple of decades now, these guys produce such consistently impressive wines and have been perfecting their artistry since 1857. Whilst researching this winery to put the finishing touches on this story I discovered the following statement, which is in-line with my history of experience and perception …
Being consistent with our most authentic identity is fundamental for us here at Bertani. Having an identity means staying faithful to authenticity and transparency; it means acting responsibly and making constant progress without betraying our own identity or vision.
The Bertani winery was founded in 1857 by the brothers Giovan Battista and Gaetano Bertani, in Quinto di Valpantena, north of Verona (North Eastern Italy). Gaetano had seen and learnt much from the French winemakers across the border. The winery was born in the time of the Italian Unification and from the very beginning strived for consistency and perfection resulting in achieving the royal warrant in 1923- an outdated symbol now but still, to this day, represents the achievement of the highest quality.
From being involved in the main Italian Oenological Exhibitions in Italy in 1870, to becoming major exporters of wine in 1880, to the Soave being served at King George VI’s coronation in England in 1937, to the introduction of the iconic wine Amarone in 1958; they have achieved consistent recognition and excellence on their own terms, with goals and commitment firmly rooted in tradition.
Let’s get onto the wines… they produce 18 wines in Italy but for the sake of sanity and an attempt “not to bite off more than I can chew” we will focus on just a few. All exceptional drinking and great value!!
Bertani ‘Bertarose’ Rosé 2018- Italian $13.99
This is made from the Chiaretto grape from the inland hills of Lake Garda- a near perfect micro climate for the grape and thought to be the birthplace of the varietal. Bertarose has been made since the 1930’s and has the traditional flavor profile but with some interesting regional characteristics.
If the clean fresh aromas of pomegranate and redcurrants with subtle floral notes don’t convince this is a pleasure to drink, one sip will. There is a definite attitude with this wine and it screams “drink me.” With a rich creamy mouthfeel balanced with crisp acidity being your first impression, you’re then treated to lovely candied red fruits with subtle tangerine skin and citrus on a lingering finish that leaves a lasting impression.
Secco Bertani Verona 2011 – $17.99
This is a blend of Corvina Veronese 80% and Merlot 20%. The two varietals were fermented separately, then blended together and aged for 12 months in Slavonian barrels and French Barriques before bottling.
“The word ‘barrique’ means barrel, but not just any type of barrel. … Barriques are also known as Bordeaux barrels, because it was in Bordeaux that their shape and size was designed and developed. Barriques are relatively tall and have a capacity of 225 liters (59 gallons)”. Source: www.wikiapedia.org
An impressive nose of Blueberries underpinned by chocolate, herbs and spices supported by s delicious palate of blueberries and strawberries with secondary notes of dark cherries, chocolate and herbs on a long finish. Great balance and structure, soft and approachable and just a little too easy to drink, especially if you give it an hour or so of decanting.
Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Valpantena 2015 DOCG $62.99
This is all Amarone, with just a subtle, modern twist. The grapes come from the hills of Valpantena which is the only ‘cru’ subzone in the Valpolicella area ensuring a remarkable standard of wine.
Like it’s big brother, it is an impressive wine that is elegant overflowing with depth and complexity. Nose is enticing to be sure but it’s the palate that displays the hidden secrets born in the Valpantena hills and made into a wonderful experience to be shared and enjoyed. Mouthfuls of rich blackberries compete with the red fruits, ripe cherries and spices for your attention. There is still a hint of raisin on the finish but it is the mint and cherries that leaves a lasting impression.
Bertani Amarone della Valpolicella Classico 2009 DOCG $135.99 – “Arguably one of the best Amarone’s I’ve ever drunk!”- Peter Ryan.
An impressive blend of Corvina 80% and Rondinella 20% grapes grown in the Tenuta Novare hills, in the heart of the Valpolicella Classica area. This wine is a classic expression of what comes out of those hills when love and care and attention is added into the mix. They’ve been making Amarone for about 60 years and produce some of the finest. I’m not sure if it’s the hills or the age of the vines or the attention to detail but it all comes together at the crucial moment- consistently impressive wines regardless of the vintage and their passion for it shines through in every bottle.
If you’re wondering where the subtle hint of sweetness and raisins comes from, the grapes are left for about three months to dry on “aréle” (racks made from bamboo canes) before the winemaking process is finished off with 6 years of aging in large barrels, before bottling.
The nose doesn’t give much away on day one but by day two, well that’s a whole different story. Delicious sweet candied cherries, plums and subtle tea notes, wrapped up and delivered with seductive charm. It’s the palate where the real delights of Amarone’s are revealed and just why this is considered one of the most loved varietals in Italy. One sip reveals an approachable softness with layers of red currents, cherries, cranberries with just a hint of vanilla, spices and raisin in a long finish. This is a seriously impressive wine and definitely one of the best Amarone’s I’ve tasted. An awesome example of when everything falls into place, let it age gracefully and allow the it to unfold before you- What you get is a very impressive, very elegant wine that will make you smile till the very last drop.
NOTE: I haven’t reviewed some of the other wines due to high allocation, meaning we can’t get them all the time but please feel free to ask me about them next time you’re in the store.
images courtesy of www.bertani.net
Vine & Table