Amarone is definitely a "big red." It's intense--a powerhouse of a wine designed to take your breath away. On average, Amarone checks in with 14 to 16 percent alcohol, yet it carries its alcohol with the grace. This elegance, as well as Amarone's intensity, its texture, its alcohol level and its expense, comes from the wine's appasimento technique, where its makers partially dry the grapes before pressing them. As the grapes dry, their flavor concentrates and their sugar increases. That sugar makes for a high-alcohol wine, but it also endows Amarone with its singular flavor profile. It's a wine with controlled opulence, and a model wine for cold weather.
Today, I'm proud to debut two Amarone from Lorenzo Begali, the estate's 2012 Amarone Classico bottling and its cru 2010 Monte Ca' Bianca. These two wines are unabashed big reds; they're bold, complex, in-your-face wines that hold your senses in velvety grips. Even better, they're white tigers in the Amarone world; they're affordable luxuries that belong on your winter dining table. Priced at $70 for the cuvée and $80 for the cru Amarone, these wines are reasonable, but they aren't everyday enjoyments; however, Begali's Recioto della Valpolicella Classico, a wine that vinifies with Amarone's less, is. It's less than $22 a bottle, and the 2014 offered today is stellar. Finally, Begali makes a terrific dessert wine, and the 2011 Recioto is also offered below. It's a quartet of "big red" treats!
Along with these new Begali releases, I'm delighted to offer magnums of Ca' del Bosco 2001 Cuvée Annamaria Clementi. Franciacorta is home to Italy's méthode champenoise sparklers, and this wine is a treat for wine enthusiasts who love vintage Champagne. Finally, you'll find ten big, beautiful bottles of William Fèvre Chablis with special time-sensitive pricing. Summer has slipped into fall, but you can still toast it with these classic white Burgundies, and magnums mean they'll drink wonderfully for some time to come.