Bertani and two 50-year milestones

by Riccardo Viscardi 01/04/18
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Bertani e i doppi cinquant'anni

There was great interest in the Special Vintage Tasting that for the first time offered six historic vintages (1958, 1967, 1975, 1986, 2008 and 2009) of Amarone Classico Bertani.  

With a magnificent tasting staged in a top hotel in Milan,  Bertani Domains recently celebrated two important events in its history involving the number 50: 50 vintages of Amarone Classico Bertani,  1958-2008,   and the release on the market of a limited number of bottles of its 50-year-old 1967 vintage Amarone .  The aim of the event was to bring the focus back to the ‘mother’ estate, which today has evolved into a major wine group with holdings in Friuli, Tuscany and Marche. The validity of our decision to award it with our Winery of the Year prize in our Ultimate Guide to Italian Wine 2018 was confirmed by the exceptional quality of the Amarone offered at the tasting.

An important contribution was made at the tasting by 84-year-old Enrico Barbero, the estate’s first enologist back in the days of Cavalier Bertani, who help us understand the direction taken in the 1950s to allow the estate to create what we know today as Amarone. The style of the wine came about by chance and thanks to the ambition of Cavalier Bertani, who wanted to make a wine that could rival Barolo that at the time was the epitome of a great Italian red. Barbero, whose surname is Piedmontese, oversaw significant investments to revamp methods used both in the vineyard and the winery and involved adopting techniques that at the time were modern as well as the use of new wood barrels for aging. The result was creating new tradition through intelligent innovation. Unfortunately, the project did not meet with immediate commercial success because restaurant owners were not exactly convinced by this new style, to say the least. On the bright side, this allowed us to enjoy some historic vintages at the Special Vintage Tasting  and for them to put on the market a 50-year-old vintage.

Barbero’s role is now played by Andrea Lonardi who is the technical director at Bertani Domains while its CEO is Emilio Pedro, a guru of Italian wine.

The vintages offered were: 1958, 1967, 1975, 1986, 2008 and 2009. To be honest, I found the 1975 to be a bit weak, flat, a little too acidic and with a finish that was more simple than the other vintages. The 1986 had a complex bouquet but with elegant and evolved notes that were typical and classic for Italian wines of that period. This was not new and, in a way, to be expected. As for the other vintages, it is difficult to find the right words to explain the wonder we experienced during the tastings.

Except for some small differences, depending on the harvest, the wines were a blend of 80% Corina and Corvinone and 20% Rondinella that matured for six years in large wood barrels and then aged for two years in the bottle.

Bertani 
Owner : Bertani Domains
Via Asiago, 1
37023 Grezzana (VR)
Tel. +39 045 8658444
Fax +39 045 8658400
bertani@bertani.net
www.bertani.net
Facebook : cantine.bertani
Year of foundation:  1857
Total bottles produced:  2.000.000
Hectares of vineyards:  200

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